In the Cardinals and Falcons game last week, we had a matchup of two of the best wide receivers ever to lace them up.
Larry Fitzgerald is quietly second all-time in receiving yards with 16,706 and climbing. He won’t be able to catch up to the legendary Jerry Rice, but he is making a case as the second-best receiver of all-time. Not only was he unstoppable in his prime, but his longevity can only be matched by a few. Larry Legend is currently 36 and has 427 receiving yards through six games this season. That puts him on pace for well over 1,100 yards this year. He looks like he still has it, and with some hope finally arriving in Kyler Murray, he will probably be around for a couple of more years.
We know about Julio Jones. He continues to set a record pace for receiving yards over his career – recently becoming the fastest player to 11,000 yards. Jones did so in 115 games, which is 12 fewer than Calvin Johnson, who was the next fastest to reach the feat. At only 30 years old, he is currently 35th on the all-time receiving list, but in three years – health providing – he will own the spot right behind Larry Fitzgerald for third all-time and still be in the prime of his career.
Jones will be the first player that could threaten Jerry Rice’s mark of 22,895 yards. Some things will have to fall in his favor, but he has the type of work ethic to do this for as long as he feels like it. And because of that, he’s earned the respect of his peers, including Larry Fitzgerald, who was recently caught on film telling his rookie quarterback, “He [Jones] is the best I’ve ever seen. I’m serious. He’s the best I’ve ever seen.”
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) October 16, 2019
Fitzgerald’s been able to witness Jones do some spectacular things up close. Most memorably, when he went off on All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson for ten catches and 189 yards. At the time, Peterson was regarded as the best cornerback in the league and had 68 straight games without allowing a receiver to accumulate more than 80 yards, according to PFF. Peterson called it, “The worst game I’ve ever played.” But we all know the real reason why: Julio Jones is unstoppable.