Two of the league’s best receivers are going to sit this week, with Antonio Brown and DeAndre Hopkins calling it a year. That leaves Julio Jones, the NFL’s #3 receiver when it comes to yardage, operating alone this weekend.
It will not surprise you to learn that Julio has a real shot at leading the NFL in receiving yards after this weekend. He’s fewer than 300 yards behind Brown, after all, and we all know Julio can put up 300 yards on the Panthers.
Julio could finish as league leader in receiving yards with Antonio Brown and DeAndre Hopkins not playing this week. Brown with 1,533, Hopkins 1,378, Julio 1,364. Jones doesn't care about stats though. Win and playoff berth much more important— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) December 28, 2017
While Jones doesn’t care about his stats—and fans don’t either, so long as Atlanta wins—it would still be nice to see Julio again finish the year as the league’s #1 receiver. If he has a huge game against Carolina’s secondary, it certainly puts Atlanta in a better position to win that game, given the demoralizing impact of being Julioed for four quarters.
The more likely scenario is that Julio has a solid day by his standards and finishes somewhat shy of Brown, but well ahead of Hopkins. That would be a perfectly legitimate outcome, and as long as the Falcons get into the postseason, one we won’t complain about whatsoever.
He’ll need 169 yards to get it done. Will he do it?