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Julio Jones versus Josh Norman should be a fun battle to watch

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The star receiver versus the star cornerback in this weekend's Falcons-Panthers matchup.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

There are relatively few great one-on-one matchups in football, particularly between receivers and cornerbacks. Most teams in the NFL take one look at Julio Jones and decide their best bet is to throw two or even three defenders at him in hope of smothering him, either taking him out of the play or ensuring they can quickly drag him down after he makes a ridiculous catch.

That's not the case with the Panthers, who have an eccentric, supremely talented cornerback in Josh Norman, who says things like "he completes me" about Julio, and has been one of the few corners in the NFL to hold Julio's production in check over the last few years. In 2014, Julio managed just 58 and 59 yards against Norman, who spend most of his day tracking #11 all over the field.

It's an advantage any time you can effectively lock down one receiver, and the Falcons obviously enjoy that with Desmond Trufant on the field, as well. Unfortunately for the Falcons, the lack of production from Julio when he's covered by Norman is another reason not to be overly optimistic about this one. Julio will have this one circled on his calendar, though, and we'll have to hope he can break out in a big way.

The man who had the most success against Norman this year is Vincent Jackson, who is very big and very fast, and simply managed to get by Norman a handful of times. If the Falcons want to take deep shots in the hope that Jones can simply outrun Norman (and wind up where the safeties aren't), this is the week to do it. Hell, the Falcons are huge underdogs on the road against a clearly superior team, so this is definitely the week to do it.

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