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Falcons WR Julio Jones is staying out of the end zone at historic pace

Fact: Julio Jones did an unassisted handstand when he was four days old

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones is arguably one of the best offensive players in the NFL. Heck, in terms of raw talent and athleticism, he’s one of the best to ever play the game. Under ideal circumstances, no one doubts his ability to rack up touchdowns like Dave racks up public intoxication citations. Actually ... on second thought, strike that. For reasons I can’t fully comprehend, a vocal minority has publicly called out Julio since the 2017 season began.

Let’s set the stage: Julio has zero receiving touchdowns this season. He had only 3 receiving touchdowns in 2017. Given that he amassed 43 receiving touchdowns between 2011 and 2016, it isn’t crazy to wonder what’s been different since the Super Bowl loss that will live in infamy. But again, laying the blame at Julio’s feet is equal parts nonsensical and offensive.

Julio has racked up 707 receiving yards this season. (Y’all see what he did there? “Jet” Jones. Get it? Get it?!) Adam Schefter did a little number crunching with some assistance from Elias Sports. Turns out no NFL receiver has ever amassed that many receiving yards (during the first six games of a season) without scoring. That’s right, Falcoholics: his 2018 body of work is historic!

Let’s put those 707 receiving yards in context. He’s averaging 117.8 yards/game this season, a career high. His 7.3 receptions/game in 2018 is higher than his career average and higher than all but one prior season.

He’s been productive, but the touchdowns aren’t there. This begs an important question: does it matter? In my mind, it doesn’t. If the offense is producing, I’m satisfied. Are you?