Originally posted at PlaymakerOnline.com:
Jacoby Jones is still taking a lot of heat for his muffed punt reception at the start of the Houston Texans loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Itís a big mistake that heís going to have to live down and make up for.
Itís ironic that heís getting so much heat for one mistake while TJ Yates threw three interceptions, but Jones isnít a rookie and heís had lots of reps returning punts. But what the incident brings to a head is how Jones hasnít nearly met expectations overall.
Theyíre not high expectations. Heís supposed to be a deep threat with home run ability as a wide receiver. Heís supposed to be on the verge of returning a punt for a touchdown any time he touches the ball, or at least get a big return. But he didnít do any of that this season and Houston and itís fans have to question whether itís worth the effort anymore to trot him out there to do a job that heís underperformed at for years now.
Houston was in the middle of the pack as far as punt return average goes in the NFL. They did get one touchdown, but Jones made his biggest mistake at the worst possible time in the playoffs. And for a guy thatís supposed to be making big plays down the field, he only had three games with more than 50 receiving yards and never cracked the century mark.
It seems like one of the things Houston should address in the offseason is how they can replace Jones either in the draft or in free agency. Itís not a big hole to plug and theyíll have the money to spend. Laurent Robinson immediately comes to mind. Itís doubtful Dallas will be able to sign him back considering how much money they already have tied up in Miles Austin and Dez Bryant. The Texans could also look for a return man in the draft, but are overloaded with players who have return experience like Sherrick McManis, Quintin Demps, and Danieal Manning.
While the story right now is how Jones will deal with so much of the blame for the loss being on his shoulders, really it should be why the Texans should have any motivation to bring him back next year in the same role.