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Will Julio Jones continue to lead the NFL in receiving yards per game?

The NFL’s all-time leader in the mark does have some competition.

Super Bowl LI - New England Patriots v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Here’s a remarkable fact about Julio Jones, who is very obviously a remarkable receiver. Julio is currently the all-time leader in receiving yards per game, with an average of 96.3. To put that in its proper perspective, the third-leading all time receiving yards per game mark belongs to Calvin Johnson, who has 86.1 yards per game.

That mark alone might be enough to put Julio in the Hall of Fame someday, but here’s another remarkable thing: He has genuine competition for the mark. Odell Beckham Jr. is averaging 95.9 yards per game through the first three years of his career, which means at some point in 2017, it’s conceivable that Beckham and not Julio will hold the mark, for however long.

How can this be? It helps Beckham considerably that he is the focal point of the Giants’ entire offense, as they don’t have many other compelling receiving options at the moment and have had a weak ground game for most of Beckham’s career. That’s not to take anything away from him, because his is a rare talent, but Julio simply isn’t going to command the same number of targets he once did thanks to the team’s obvious upgrades in offensive talent.

Nonetheless, Julio averaged just over 100 yards per game through the air in a year where his targets were significantly reduced, and he had a 300 yard game against the Panthers. I wouldn’t bet against Julio continuing to hold the mark, and indeed, he has a pretty decent shot at ending his career holding it, as well.

God, what a great player.