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Falcons WR Mohamed Sanu preaches importance of Julio Jones

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Just in case you were wondering what Jones’ importance on the offense was this year.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons have a three-headed monster at receiver right now with Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu and Calvin Ridley, which has proved virtually impossible for opposing secondaries to stop.

But the “Julio has no touchdowns” thing continues to persist despite our better angles telling us that that stat has been largely pointless in terms of the offense’s general production.

Well, Sanu has had it, and he cleared the air on how the team’s leading receiver is having a positive impact on the team.

Those are some firm words for the Falcons receiver, essentially calling out any and all Jet detractors as folks who don’t understand the game.

He’s not wrong! If football is chess, Jones is the queen. He can go everywhere he wants, do whatever he wants and, even if he’s not taking out the pawns, he’s still putting the pieces in place to allow his team to get to the king, if you will.

Jones takes a lot of coverage out of the picture and allows for guys like Sanu, Ridley, Austin Hooper, Tevin Coleman, Justin Hardy and Marvin Hall to have opportunities to slip loose and get the pass and yards. This particularly applies to the end zone.

Just because Julio isn’t getting touchdowns doesn’t mean he’s not responsible for making a lot of them happen. When defenses have to worry about what Jones is doing, they can’t always worry about what everyone else is doing. That gets guys open and gets them touchdowns.

As has been stated, Matt Ryan is having a year with MVP-caliber numbers, even if the “win” column doesn’t reflect it. A lot of those yards are going to Jones (708 through six games, which is quite a good number for that point in the year), and he’s going to get touchdowns eventually.

So listen to Sanu, folks. He’d know better than anyone how important Jones is to the offense, and 2018, though pretty crummy elsewhere, has been a banner year for perhaps the best receiving core in the league.