When Julio Jones lines up across from the hapless Tampa Bay cornerback who has to try to contain him for four quarters, he’ll be doing more than just trying to demoralize the Buccaneers. He’ll be trying to make history, yet again.
Our own Kendall Jackson pointed out to me the other day that Julio is playing his 90th NFL game on Sunday. If he snags eight receptions and total 107 yards, he’ll have more receptions and yards than any other receiver through 90 games.
That would leave him with 558 receptions and 8,502 yards for his career to this point. To put that in its proper perspective, the amazing Roddy White finished his career with 808 receptions and 10,863 yards, both franchise records, in 171 games. Even setting aside Roddy’s slow career start and stormy final year with Kyle Shanahan, he wasn’t close to getting these numbers, and he was the greatest ever to do it for the Falcons up until now.
If Julio hits these numbers, it puts him ahead of the pace for Hall of Fame players like Jerry Rice, Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, and his peers like Calvin Johnson and Antonio Brown. The only area in which he’s lagging behind is touchdowns, as he continues to be one of the most under-utilized red zone threats imaginable for a receiver with his blend of size and speed. He may or may not finish his career as the greatest wide receiver in NFL history, but he’s almost cemented his place as one of the true legends of the game. Let’s hope he can hit these marks against the Bucs.