Julio Jones is a first-ballot Hall of Famer. He’s the fastest player to 10,000 receiving yards, and the greatest this franchise has ever seen. There are so many moments since Atlanta traded up to draft the former Crimson Tide receiver that stick out in my mind, and while the impact Jones provides to the game is clear from a statistical standpoint, he does it in a truly explosive manner. Jones has made some ridiculous jaw-dropping catches over his first ten seasons. Let’s take a look at the five most incredible moments of his career so far:
5. First career touchdown
Julio's first career TD catch?
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) September 19, 2019
Think of it as Julio’s coming out party. Jones made a spectacular 50-yard touchdown catch that initially didn’t count. After signaling to the refs to review, they concluded that it was a catch after all. Even while being in triple coverage, Jones came up with the ball after diving for it. He didn’t stop there, either. In the second quarter of that game, Matt Ryan launched another deep ball to Jones, who caught it for an 80-yard touchdown.
4. 300-yard game vs. Panthers
Julio Jones is one of six players in NFL history to have ever recorded a 300-yard receiving game. He joined the club with a 300-yard effort on 12 catches with a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers on Oct. 2, 2016, in a 48-33 win. Jones and Calvin Johnson are the only two who have done it since the league merger.
3. Sideline catch in Super Bowl LI
This catch by Julio Jones in Super Bowl LI was absolutely insane ✈️pic.twitter.com/cJqbLAQiQH
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) March 29, 2020
Despite cornerback Eric Rowe having inside position, Julio Jones was still able to catch the ball AND managed to stay inbounds for a 27-yard gain. This is one of the best catches in Super Bowl history, and if Atlanta had somehow won that game, that highlight would be the one forever enshrined in football glory instead of Julian Eldemen’s catch — which was far less difficult than Julio’s. His ability to somehow get his right foot down and then slam down his left foot was what made it so unique. Jones finished the game with 87 receiving yards on four receptions.
2. “Luke Kuechly, You got Moss’d!”
On third down, Ryan escaped pressure and avoided the sack to launch the ball down the field to Julio Jones, who then absolutely son’d Luke Kuechly for a sensational catch and sprinted for a 70-yard touchdown. What’s most inconceivable about this catch was that Jones was double-covered the entire play. He finished the game with 178 receiving yards on only nine catches — arguably one of the top games of his career. The Falcons went on to secure the win over the Panthers in dramatic fashion, handing them their only loss of the season.
1. 73-yard touchdown in NFCCG vs. Packers
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) January 22, 2017
This play was just a microcosm of the Falcons offense that special year. Nobody could stop this group, especially the lousy Packers’ defensive backs who are no longer in the league. I’m sure there are a number of ex-players who have been cut right after playing Julio. The Packers never had a chance, thanks to this dagger, and Julio finished the game with two touchdowns and 180 yards.
Let me know what your top-five Julio moments are!