Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones is a monster force. He makes defensive backs look silly. Heck, Jones makes entire defenses look silly. Just ask the Carolina Panthers after he netted 300 yards against them earlier this season.
Jones heads into his Week 8 outing against the Green Bay Packers on pace to put up 1,897 receiving yards, numbers that would challenge the single-season mark.
Needless to say, the Packers have taken note of Jones’ monstrous season thus far. In this, they may very well be looking for some intervention from over the top. No, we’re definitely not talking about safety help here.
“The week of (the game), every night before you go to bed, you’ve got to pray,” cornerback Micah Hyde said, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Game day, you’ve got to wake up, you’ve got to pray.”
This sounds like a foolproof plan. Divine intervention may be the only way for the Packers to stop Jones. Then again, Hyde is sitting here assuming the deity he prays to is not somehow a Falcons fan. That could get real awkward real quick.
On the field, there’s some reason to believe Green Bay can contain Jones. Its defense ranks in the top 10 of the NFL in yards allowed to receivers. It has also yielded an extremely low 56 percent catch rate to this position on the season.
None of this means Hyde and his Packers are too confident heading into this one. At the very least, when it comes to covering Jones.
“He’s (Jones) just one of those guys that can get it done in all aspects of the game. Honestly, there’s nothing he can’t do,” Hyde continued. “There’s guys that come along every now and then, you’ve got your Calvin Johnson-type guys, and he’s one of them. He’s the best in the game right now.”
At 4-3 on the season, Atlanta heads into Week 8 having lost two consecutive games. Meanwhile, Green Bay sits at 4-2 following last week’s blowout win over the Chicago Bears. In the broader context, this matchup could have wide-ranging playoff implications.