Week 12: Snaps and Targets
This is your weekly reminder that the Buccaneers want Jackson to excel. They just sometimes lack the quarterbacking skills to help him do so. For the second straight week, Jackson got plenty of targets (11 this week and eight last week). Last week, that meant three catches for 28 yards and no touchdowns. This week, it meant 10 catches for 165 yards and a touchdown. I'd take my chances with a receiver with Jackson's skills if his team remains dedicated to getting him the ball, even if sometimes they're incapable of doing so.
Hopefully, Johnson is on the same page with whomever his quarterback is, because the receiver's talents are too valuable to waste. Johnson led the NFL in Week 11 with 17 targets, and he turned those into 10 catches for 116 yards. Not even bad quarterbacking keeps him down, but a rift with his quarterback might be more troublesome. Encouragingly, Case Keenum, not Matt Schaub, is slated to start.
Shorts began the year as a targets darling, and even though his role took a slight hit while Justin Blackmon was back between suspensions, Shorts remained highly targeted. Before Week 10, Shorts led Jacksonville in targets every week Blackmon didn't play and some that Blackmon did. But with Blackmon out the last two weeks, Shorts had just four targets (three-way tie for second on the team) and five targets (three-way tie for third on the team). He expressed his frustration, and Chad Henne indicated Jacksonville would move Shorts around in an effort to get him open. Give that a chance to work this week, though sit Shorts while you observe if you can afford it. If that works, definitely get Shorts back in your starting lineup going forward. If it doesn't, it's probably time to bench him.