Falcons fans and fantasy owners alike have been asking the same question all season: Why can’t Julio Jones score touchdowns?
We know the actual reason. Atlanta’s best receiver is consistently blanketed with coverage in the end zone. A condensed field makes it easier for defenses to direct their attention to Jones and go all out to keep him from making plays. It’s opened things up for other players — particularly the team’s touchdown leader, rookie receiver Calvin Ridley, to make plays in the end zone, so it’s not necessarily a bad thing for the Falcons.
But it’s still amazing that a guy with Jones’ considerable gifts of size, strength, speed, and agility hasn’t scored even once since the Wild Card round last postseason against the Rams. It’s a mystery, and it’s one we set out to solve on this week’s episode of Thursday Night Kickoff on FOX 5 Atlanta.
Here’s the segment from this week, and the tweets that made it.
A super spooky ghost. Julio and the gang will need to prove that it's not a ghost at all, but Old Man Jenkins, jealous of #11's success and doing everything he can to keep Jones out of the end zone.— The Falcoholic (@TheFalcoholic) October 17, 2018
For some, to get into the end zone you must become the end zone. I'll suggest duct-taping astroturf to every square inch of his body.— CARTZ (@FalcoholicCartz) October 17, 2018
He's said it for years "I don't care about fantasy football" so even though he's getting his yards and catches he's likely avoiding the endZone on purpose— Rams v Chiefs Superbowl 53 (@stu_bear) October 17, 2018
And here are some of the tweets that were spectacular, but realistically I only have so much time to work with, so they didn’t get included.
A valid theory.
Julio Jones is deathly allergic to the paint used in end zones so he's very careful to avoid it at all costs.— Draftaholic Matt (@FalcoholicMatt) October 17, 2018
This is never going to happen.
He can't score another touchdown until Saban smiles on camera at a press conference. That's the signal. It might be a while.— A.Schultz (@A_L_Schultz) October 17, 2018
If this is the case, we’re in trouble.
I fear the end zone is the crack and if he were to step on it... *daunting sigh* well, you know that story’s as old as time itself.— Chris Cook (@ChrisCookOnline) October 17, 2018
Who doesn’t love Freddie Falcon?
Any time the Falcons get in the redzone, Julio spots his lifelong hero Freddie the Falcon and begins daydreaming of their blossoming friendship, distracting him from scoring. Freddie needs to hide away when they're in the red zone.— Dark Timeline DW (@FalcoholicDW) October 17, 2018
It’s a brilliant strategy.
Matt Ryan purposefully keeping him out of the end zone to deflate his stats, thus allowing the falcons to resign him for less— wishbone (@EisaYamada) October 17, 2018
That movie is pretty scary.
Before every game, Julio watches The Ring, and it scares him so much that he doesn't want any kind of ring near him. Every TD is a step closer to a ghost crawling out of all of his TVs.— Cody (@socialcody) October 17, 2018
Those dang Monstars.
The Monstars have obviously taken away his ability to catch touchdown passes— UGA Savages (6-1) (@22_Jman) October 17, 2018
Finally, a practical solution.
Have him put on a 25 jersey.— Steven (@StevenStozz) October 17, 2018
I like it.
He’s just got a mental block about crossing the goal line. Have the grounds crew paint a 1 and 0 on either side of it and he’ll think it’s a second ten yard line and start scoring TDs again.— KMBBucksFan (@kmbbucksfan) October 17, 2018
Julio is boycotting the 'endzone' because every ending is just a new beginning and he thinks calling it the 'endzone' is fatalistic. He deserves our support.— The Ghost of Falcons' Pass Rush (@freetrain24) October 17, 2018
Look, nobody wants this to happen.
It’s similar to The Last Crusade. If he crosses the end zone with the football he loses his magic powers— Zach Pritchard (@ZAPritch) October 17, 2018
Well, this would really be something.
Julio misunderstood and thought that Matt Ryan was trying to pass him an STD instead of a TD. The easiest fix is to get Julio to wear condoms on his hands.— John Williams (@johnwilliams713) October 17, 2018
I’m fine with this.
He’s letting his protégé @CalvinRidley1 have the opportunity to become Offensive Rookie of the Year. Once he receives that honor, @juliojones_11 can just go off in Super Bowl VIII.— Chels (@chellsbells40) October 17, 2018
I mean, it could be true.
Someone told him he will pick up a roughing the passer call if he steps foot in the end zone.... given the NFL’s officiating of late he understandably believed it!— Bradley Leggett (@bradleyleggett) October 17, 2018
Julio actually liked Quavo's new album and the football gods not having it— mjeezyca (@mjeezyca) October 18, 2018
This seems like it could work.
Sarkphobia...it’s the fear of using your best player correctly. Cure: steal some of Shanahan DNA and inject into Sark! Result: 2 TDs for @juliojones_11 on MNF!!!— John Walls (@JohnWal36802378) October 17, 2018
Well, folks, here you have it.
Julio wants to be the first person in NFL history to get 2000 yards 150 receptions without scoring a TD in a season. That would be a record no-one could ever break.— Henry Hamilton (@hami1018a) October 17, 2018
We also talked about Atlanta’s much-needed win over the Buccaneers and looked forward to the Giants on this week’s episode. Here’s how you can tune in next week if you missed it. And keep an eye out on Twitter on Tuesday for next week’s question.
How to watch Thursday Night Kickoff
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Station: FOX 5 Atlanta