Posted: 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013
By Dave Choate
An NFL offense is often a hub of complexity, with many moving parts and a host of play calls. While the end result may be simple—Steven Jackson for a five yard gain, let's say—it requires execution at the highest level to keep that from being "Steven Jackson dropped for a five yard loss."
Sometimes, though, things are simple. Such is the case with Julio Jones.
On Sunday, Ryan targeted Julio Jones a total of nine times. Jones reeled in 7 catches for 76 yards and a touchdown. Do you want to know what Ryan's quarterback rating (I know, an imperfect stat) was when throwing to Jones? Over 145.
It's pretty simple: The Falcons need to get the ball to Jones as much as possible. I recognize that sometimes this is not possible, but Jones' athleticism and speed mean he's going to win a lot of jump balls and be able to pull down catches lesser gods will not. The Falcons have a ton of weapons, yes, but I sometimes think that Ryan maybe is a little too dedicated to spreading the ball around, or a little too eager to look for a checkdown. He was among the NFL leaders in checkdowns in 2012.
I'm not saying force the ball to Jones, but I am saying he's the best option in the passing game and the guy likeliest to make a spectacular catch when one is needed. Ryan's insane passer rating to Jones, even if it's only a one game sample, certainly attests to that.
With the uncertainty swirling around Roddy, the Rams' lack of truly elite cornerbacks and the importance of getting the ball out quickly to counteract a potent St. Louis pass rush, Julio should have a monster day. Let's hope he does.