Half a year ago, we posted a handful of "Bold Predictions" for the 2015 NFL season involving the Cincinnati Bengals. Like the U.S.S. Enterprise, these predictions attempted to go where no man had gone before - into the realm of predictions so absurd that many fans vehemently disagreed with them, although they had a small, but reasonable shot, of coming true.
Now that the Bengals' season has concluded, we're taking a look back to see if any of these predictions came true, or if they were just a bit too bold.
We look back at our first bold prediction, that Marvin Jones will outperform A.J. Green
Why this prediction was "Bold"
Simply put, because A.J. Green is "elite", and has been the Bengals’ top wide receiver since entering the league in 2011.
Why this prediction was feasible
With Jones playing on a contract year, there was big money on the line in him having a standout season to boost his value on the open market. After a year away from football due to injury, Jones also was motivated to come back and pick up where he left off.
During the 2014 season, Jones was a much more regular red-zone option for the Bengals than Green, making it seem like the same could occur in 2015.
If Dalton continued his struggles with the deep ball, the Bengals would be running more and throwing shorter passes, which would keep Green from outdistancing Jones with his spectacular (and somewhat regular) 60-80 yard bomb completions.
Dalton Reading Coverage Better
Hue Jackson had been hammering into Dalton not to solely focus on Green in the passing game. The potential of a more spread attack would limit Green’s numbers, and boost Jones’ production.
Facing Easier Competition
With Green being the team’s top wide receiver, Jones would be more frequently facing cornerbacks who were not as skilled as those assigned with covering Green.
Jones’ History of Doing More with Less
Heading into the 2015 NFL season, Jones had a higher percentage of receptions per target, and touchdowns per reception. Even if he did not reach Green’s totals in targets, he had a chance to reach him in production.
Final Grade? C+
Jones did not out-produce Green, but he did have his best year to date, in terms of yardage. He also supplanted Sanu for sole possession of the "second" receiver spot in Cincinnati. Another aspect that impacted Jones' drop in touchdowns was the emergence of Tyler Eifert as one of the NFL's best tight ends and touchdown scorers. Jones lost out on some his reliable red zone opportunities thanks to how much Tyler "touchdown" Eifert dominated in the red zone.