When Julio Jones is healthy, he’s arguably an unstoppable force in the NFL. Even when double-teamed, he still finds ways to get open or to snag the ball when no one else can. Why, then, doesn’t he have more touchdowns? It’s a frustrating trend for one of the leagues best receivers and confuses Falcons fans every year.
If we discount the 2013 season in which Jones missed 11 games, here are his numbers over the years.
2016 - 6 TDs
2015 - 8 TDs
2014 - 6 TDs
2012 - 10 TDs
2011 - 8 TDs
That comes out to 7.6 TDs per season over 5 (relatively) full seasons.
Our target number
This is an offense loaded with weapons, but the totals above don’t stray too much. We’ll set the target at 7 touchdowns.
Why he’ll go under
In recent years, Julio’s touchdown totals have trended down, especially as additional options have opened up on the team. Guys like Devonta Freeman, Mohamed Sanu and Tevin Coleman have become great red zone options. Additionally, teams have committed to double (and sometimes triple) teaming Julio in red zone situations. Finally, the potential emergence of Austin Hooper this year could make him a favorite end zone target for Ryan.
Why he’ll go over
The team has said repeatedly that they want to get Julio more opportunities in the red zone, and they’ve shown some creativity in recent years in doing so. Additionally, while the other guys on the team are amazing weapons, there’s still no other target Matt Ryan trusts more. It’s hard to believe Julio will continue to be ignored as a weapon to close out drives.
Over/Under: 7 touchdowns for Julio Jones
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