After brutal start to rookie season, Zay Jones is starting to establish good connection with Tyrod Taylor - The Buffalo News

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After brutal start to rookie season, Zay Jones is starting to establish good connection with Tyrod Taylor

 Zay Jones experienced a trying start to his rookie year, but he seems to have started to establish a connection with Tyrod Taylor.

In the first eight games of the year, Jones reeled in just 10 of 32 targets (14 were catchable, meaning he had four drops) for 115 yards and one of his targets was intercepted. That passer rating? 30.0. Yikes.

In his last 2.5 games with Taylor at quarterback, Jones has caught 13 of 22 targets (14 were catchable, meaning he had one drop) for 154 yards with two touchdowns.

That latter stat line equates to a 110.8 passer rating for Taylor when he's targeted Jones over that span, which is the 22nd-highest figure out of 75 qualifying wideouts.

The rookie's yards-per-route-run number skyrocketed from 0.52 in the first eight games, which happened to be the lowest among 84 qualifying receivers, to 1.67 the 31st-best figure, a number sandwiched between Randall Cobb and Jarvis Landry.

In those first eight games, Jones had PFF's sixth-worst overall grade among 109 qualifying wide receivers (-8.2). In his last three contest, the former East Carolina star has received a +1.0 overall grade for his efforts, which is puts him at No. 31 out of 112 qualifiers at his position in the time frame.

With Kelvin Benjamin still nursing an injured knee and unlikely to play in Week 13, the continued maturation of Jones and his rapport with Taylor very well could play a vital role in Buffalo's chances to beat the Patriots.

Grades and stats courtesy of Pro Football Focus.

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