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NFL Draft

Julio Jones Looks Like His Old Self Again

  • The Draft Network
  • September 21, 2021
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Week 1 didn’t go as planned for Julio Jones and Tennessee Titans fans. Jones’ Titans debut was met with an overwhelming amount of fanfare. With great excitement comes great expectations, and Jones (and the Titans) failed to meet these hopes as Jones finished his first game by catching three of six targets for a measly 29 receiving yards in a 38-13 blowout loss at home. Jones was also called for an unnecessary roughness penalty, which head coach Mike Vrabel referred to as, “doing dumb s**t.”

Skeptics immediately began to question how much the 32-year-old Jones had left in the tank. Jones was not his usual self in 2020. He played in just nine games while struggling with injury.

But that was more like it.

Jones’ followed up his disappointing Week 1 performance by having a monstrous game against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. Jones was in vintage form, catching six balls for 128 yards. The Seahawks’ secondary struggled to contain him and Jones was robbed of an even bigger day when this breathtaking touchdown catch was incorrectly ruled out of bounds.

https://twitter.com/Titans/status/1439707237849600005

The NFL’s all-time leader in receiving yards per game (95.5), Jones ran rampant on a Seahawks secondary that simply had no answer for his crisp route-running ability. Whether lined up opposite from Bobby Wagner, Tre Flowers, or D.J. Reed in coverage, as he's done so many times in the past, Jones had his way with whichever defender attempted to challenge him. The fourth-year Flowers especially had a rough outing. Jones squared off with Flowers on three of his targets, catching all three of them for a total of 86 yards, per Pro Football Focus.

More importantly, Jones looked like a natural in the Titans’ scheme. Several of his receptions occurred on play-action attempts, which the Titans have been known to utilize at one of the highest rates in the league.

Derrick Henry may be the engine that keeps this offense churning, but Jones and his running mate A.J. Brown will continue to form one of the more formidable duos on the outside in all of football, giving the Titans three elite options in an offense that should continue to score points at an alarmingly high rate going forward.

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