Debating the team's wide receiver position this preseason, rookie Marvin Jones isn't making the discussion easier. In fact one should argue that Jordan Shipley is making it easier, only targeted once against the Falcons that led to incomplete pass. Along with a 42-yard reception late in the third, Jones picked up 16 yards on an end-around earlier in the quarter. He also fair caught a punt with 13:55 remaining in the fourth quarter (the Falcons only punted twice in the second half so opportunities were limited). In summary for Jones. That's a punt return (though not really), a reception and a rush attempt.
With 13:23 remaining in the third quarter, the Bengals lined-up in single-back formation from the Falcons 28-yard line with Jones wide right. Before the snap Orson Charles, outside and a step behind Colin Cochart went into motion, targeting defensive end Cliff Matthews, who followed Bruce Gradkowski's fake to running back Aaron Brown.
Wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, wide left, shadowed cornerback Darrin Walls, also biting hard at the fake to Brown inside, leaving Jones plenty of room to maneuver near the left sidelines. Jones ran 12 yards before the first defensive player made contact, adding another four yards on a last-ditch dive to pick up a total of 16 on the play.
Despite posting a 42-yard reception that wasn't even Cincinnati's longest reception of the evening, Marvin Jones flanked wide right with 2:35 remaining in the third quarter from Cincinnati's 20-yard line during his lone reception of the night.
Falcons cornerback Dominique Franks pressed tight in coverage, but failed to initiate contact when Jones released off the line of scrimmage. As a result Cincinnati's rookie wide receiver, chopped his feet without obstruction to take outside position on a vertical route down the right sidelines.
Franks actually played the route well, matching Jones' speed with good inside position. When Zac Robinson's pass arrived, a bit underthrown, Franks nearly deflects the football with his left arm instinctually raised as Jones was tensing for the incoming pass.
Ultimately it was Jones' concentration that completed the 42-yard play, focusing Franks' distractions out of his mind.
It's the second 40-plus yard reception by Jones this preseason, clearly making enough of a name for himself to resist practice squad discussions and placing him directly into the 53-man roster in a couple weeks.