Of the top 80 WRs in the NFL this year, D. Jones ranks 66th in catch rate (51.1%). Jones ranks 76th (out of 80) in yards per target with 5.1 (for reference, D. Nelson is 7.9, S. Johnson is 7.5). Consider that Jones is supposed to be the deep threat. However, the most revealing stat in my eyes is the % of targets for first down. I couldn't find anywhere where this was a sortable stat, so I had to calculate it on my own. I used data from prior to today's (sunday's) game (its just the first data I found and I ran with it. Anyways, of the 160 players with the most reception yards, there are only two with a lower % first down/target: Chris Johnson the RB (14.6%) and Mercedes Lewis the TE (19.4%). Jones had a 20.0% rate.
To me, this gets at the crux of the issue with Jones. Its not that he hasn't had opportunities to make plays, its that he's consistently failed to make them. The only game he really performed in was against NE. Other than than, he has consistently failed to get open, or had balls go off his fingertip/through his hands, or he's made the reception but fails to get the first down. This is not meant to be a knock on Jones, I'm sure he's a great guy and he's still learning the game. However, i think it has been demonstrated repeatedly that putting him at #2 is NOT putting him in a position to succeed. Having him at #2 is not putting the Bills in a position to succeed either. Unfortunately I don't see another viable option on the Bills roster for this position. Nix needs to be scouting the waiver wire and other practice squads for some WR options for next year because it possible Jones doesn't have the talent to turn the corner. On that note, Fitzpatrick needs to start thinking twice before throwing to Jones on important down and distance until he proves himself on lesser downs.
This is not to say Jones is the reason the Bills are losing, there are lots of reasons for that. It is just to say that I'm frustrated when Fitz looks to Jones on 3rd and 4th down because he is consistently not getting the job done on those downs (see above stats).
My other issue with the Bills is George Edwards. I wasn't pleased when the Bills let Perry Fewell go. I thought the majority of our issue was with an offense that couldn't stay on the field. That said, i was ready to give GE the benefit of the doubt. However, it has become abundantly clear to me that GE is not up to the task. In 2008, Buffalo had the 14th ranked defense, 2009 we ranked 19th, bear in mind our offense was abysmal these years (25th and 30th). In 2010, Buffalo's D ranked 24th, granted it was the first year in the 3-4 and our offense was mostly abysmal (25th). However, come 2011 and our offense is actually pretty good @ 14th (ok, not so good the last few games) and we're in the 2nd year in the 3-4, yet the results are much of the same: Defense is 25th in the NFL. I know our schedule has been tough, but this simply isn't acceptable.
Furthermore, the stated purpose for moving to the 3-4 defense was because it allows more creativity in regards to blitzes. Supposedly this would permit the generation of pressure with less talent. I have seen very little creativity and even less pressure. Even the one game Buffalo did generate pressure (Wash) an analysis of the sacks showed most of them were due to John Beck's play, as opposed to good play by the Bills line.
In summary, please don't throw to Jones on 3rd and 4th down unless you've checked down to him or he's started proving himself on 1st and 2nd down. Please start looking for alternate #2 WR options in case Jones continues to struggle and Easley continues to have health issues.
Please find a better Defensive Coordinator ASAP.