Over the next week or so, we’ll look at the bright spots on this roster we didn’t have the time or energy to really praise during the regular season. After that, we’ll take a closer look at some of the players who didn’t meet our expectations.
It almost seems insane to include Julio Jones on a list of players who were bright spots for a bad season. Why? Well, because there’s little doubt that he would always be a bright spot. Since entering the league in 2011, Julio has quickly become one of the most dominant receivers in the game. Any thoughts that he could have a “down” season are laughable at best. And yet, creating a bright spots list without Julio seems criminal. So here we are.
What was his 2019 like? Oh, you know, just more of the same. He caught the ball 113 times for 1677 yards (14.8 yards per catch dear lord) and 8 touchdowns. It was his second highest yardage total in his career behind only 2015 (1871 yards). It was also his second straight season of playing in all 16 games.
The funny thing is, some fans were openly questioning whether the team should commit to this man for the long-term, as if the age of 30 is some mystical number where all football players fall apart. If Julio is showing any signs of slowing down, I’m not seeing it. If anything, he’s just as dominant as he’s always been and maybe more so. The addition of Calvin Ridley will take some pressure off of him, but it’s not like the pressure bothered him much anyways. Any talk of needing to move on from Julio should cease immediately.
We’re so used to Julio being a freak of nature that plays like this just seemed like a normal days work:
YOU CAN'T COVER JULIO JONES. pic.twitter.com/5gmtjIJSHZ— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) December 16, 2018
And oh yeah, these:
Julio Jones' Top 10 Plays of 2018 pic.twitter.com/8woeBNFukB— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) January 3, 2019
The Falcons have publicly said that they plan to renegotiate Julio’s contract this off-season to make sure he’s paid what he’s worth. After yet another year of sheer dominance - without any of the diva traits that other receivers in the league exhibit - I hope the Falcons give him a contract that ensures he retires as an Atlanta Falcon.