Julio Jones led the NFL in receiving yards in 2015. The Atlanta Falcons star hauled in 136 passes for 1,871 yards. That latter total put him within 93 yards of Calvin Johnson’s single season record and only 129 short of the hallowed 2,000-yard total.
On Monday, Jones stated that while 2,000 yards is clearly not his goal, it definitely is a possibility.
“It’s definitely difficult to even think about doing,” Jones said on Sirius XM Radio. “My thing is, when I go (into) games, for me, personally, I don’t think about 2,000 yards. I had 1,800 yards last year, but I wasn’t even think about it. Everyone was like, ‘Oh, man, you’re so close, you’re so close. Are you trying to get it? Are you trying to get it?’ I’m like, ‘I’m trying to go out here and get a W, I’m trying to win the game.’ But I think it’s possible, though. I definitely think it’s possible, but it depends on the defense, if they’re going to let that guy beat them that day.”
Jones is right about opposing defenses having a lot to do with whether or not 2,000 yards is possible.
In his record setting season, Johnson had only five games where he failed to top 100 yards. In only three of those games did he have fewer than 50 yards. So, if enough defenses say “this guy isn’t beating us today,” a 2,000-yard season becomes even tougher.
Still, if any receiver can do it, Jones is the man. In addition to being one of the NFL’s most physically gifted players, Jones has outside factors working in his favor.
The Falcons play in a dome and in a division against teams that play in domes or warm weather cities. So, when Jones takes the field, he generally doesn’t need to worry about poor weather nullifying a passing game.
He also has a solid quarterback in Matt Ryan with whom he has ample experience. Oftentimes, quarterbacks and receivers depend as much on their experience with each other as they do their physical talents. Ryan knows where Jones is going to be. Jones knows where Ryan tends to put the ball.
If nothing else, those factors will help Jones pick up yards on plays that appear to be broken.