Alabama in the Pros

Falcons’ Julio Jones sets NFL record, helps franchise return to playoffs

Dale Zanine - USA TODAY Sports

Regardless of the big-play talents that are Antonio Brown, A.J. Green, Odell Beckham Jr and DeAndre Hopskins, Julio Jones reigns as the premiere receiver in the National Football League. 

He ended his seventh regular season on Sunday against Carolina, snatching five passes from Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan for 80 yards in a 22-10 win. Despite posting 1,000-plus receiving yards prior to the matchup, Jones has notched a 1,000-yard campaign in five of seven NFL seasons.

For Atlanta, this is the third year in which Jones’ performance of 1,000 yards or more has propelled the team into the playoffs – going alongside the 2012 and 2016 seasons. 

While his 83 receptions tie a mark he set in 2016, Jones’ 1,364 yards and 90.9 yards per game average both rank third in the league among wide outs. His 16.4 yards per catch average stands as his third-highest since being selected in the first round (sixth overall pick) of the 2011 draft. 

According to a tweet from NFL Research, the former University of Alabama receiver becomes the fastest player in league history to account for 9,000 career receiving yards (95 games). 

Through seven years, the Alabama football ambassador and five-time Pro Bowl selection (2012, 2014-17), has 585 catches for 9,054 receiving yards and 43 scores. He will carry Atlanta (10-6, No. 6 seed) against the three-seeded Los Angeles Rams next week for an NFC Wild Card game. 

Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

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