Julio Jones is one of the most prolific wide receivers in NFL history, but the Atlanta Falcons star player somehow didn’t catch a touchdown pass all season long. That is, until he roasted the Washington defense in Week 9.
The Atlanta Falcons offense had no trouble moving the ball on Washington’s defense in Week 9, with quarterback Matt Ryan slicing the opposition up for four touchdowns and well over 300 passing yards. The first three of those touchdowns went to stud rookie Calvin Ridley and running back Tevin Coleman, who caught two scores. But the biggest one of them all went to No. 1 wideout Julio Jones, as that touchdown reception was Jones’s first of the season.
Jones came into Week 9 averaging a whopping 116 yards per game with 15.3 yards per reception. The Alabama product has averaged 116 yards per game in two previous seasons, so the gaudy yardage totals weren’t a surprise. And while Jones has caught 10 touchdown passes in a season just once in his career, it was still a shock to see that he had yet to catch a single touchdown in the 2018 campaign through seven contests.
That all changed against Washington, as Jones caught a score in the fourth quarter to extend Atlanta’s lead to 38-14. Jones took a simple screen pass and turned it into a whole lot more, showing off his elite ability after the catch. The video of the touchdown can be viewed here, courtesy of Dov Kleiman.
After racing past Washington’s first line of defense, Jones came head-to-head with recent trade acquisition Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. In what was a familiar site to Green Bay Packers fans, Jones stiff-armed the safety into the oblivion to score his first touchdown of the year.
It was quite the sweet moment for Jones, who scored for the first time of the year and did so in style. Stiff-arms are always awesome, and this 35-yard touchdown was a reminder of how fast and strong Jones is. He’s one of the best athletes in the league and he racks up yardage for fun.
That touchdown reception moved Jones up to 121 receiving yards on seven receptions in Week 9, making it his third straight game with 100 receiving yards or more in 2018. Jones now has five games this year with at least 100 receiving yards, and he is playing his best football right now.
The 29-year-old certainly won’t be breaking personal records in the touchdown department, but he is threatening for a career-high in yards per game. Even though he isn’t the one usually scoring the touchdowns, he’s opened up the offense for players like Ridley, Coleman, and Austin Hooper to shine.