The Atlanta Falcons (8-7) take on the New Orleans Saints (6-9) in their final regular season game on Sunday. With the Falcons already eliminated from the playoffs, the team will still be playing for pride. Facing their rival in New Orleans will make this game even more important to the organization and its fans. But one player on Atlanta can beat an NFL record that was set in 2002, and that is Julio Jones.
Marvin Harrison of the Indianapolis Colts holds the record for most catches in a single-season with 143 receptions. Jones currently has 127 catches, so he needs 16 receptions to tie the record, and 17 receptions to beat the record. Having the best season a Falcons receiver has ever had, Jones will be the centerpiece of this offense for years to come if he remains healthy. The most receptions Jones has had in a game was 13, which was against the New York Giants this year on September 20.
Jones has the potential to also break one more record, which is the most receiving yards in a single-season. Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions holds that record with 1,964 receiving yards set in 2012. Jones currently has 1,722 receiving yards, so he is 243 more to surpass Johnson’s record. While 243 receiving yards might seem impossible to get in one game, Jones has actually surpassed that number before in a game. Jones had 259 yards against the Green Bay Packers last season.
Facing one of the worst defenses the NFL has ever seen, Jones has a chance to break one of these records. But Jones will be the first to tell you that personal accolades do not mean anything to him. Jones told the public, “My job is to go out there and do what my team asks of me. I know a lot of guys around here want me to get the record, but we still have to go out there and get the win.”
Do I think Jones will break one of the records? No, because I feel that other receivers will have their opportunities against a poor defense. Do I think Jones can break one of the records? Yes, because he is that talented. Quinn obviously has that in the back of his mind, but the offensive game-plan will not be to just throw Jones the ball. Jones signed a contract extension this past offseason for 5 years/$71.25 million, so Falcons fans will be seeing more greatness out of this excellent player.