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Don't Write Off Falcons

Mill Woods

Posted on June 7, 2021 15:26

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The standard NFL chatter is saying that the Atlanta Falcons have suffered a big setback in trading Julio Jones. This is one of those times that I reject the chatter. Yes, Jones is a great player. But the Falcons had a very talented and crowded receiving corps, and — surprise — Jones may not be better off in Tennessee.

Julio Jones missed half of the 2020 season because of a hamstring injury, which was either bad luck or a conditioning issue — it had nothing to do with Matt Ryan's passing or anyone's play calling (as bad as it was at times).  Foot problems have also dogged Jones since before he left Alabama.

It remains to be seen if Jones is back to 100%.  I think the Titans are smart to find out, because, at his best, Jones is a very productive receiver.  

When Falcons management was shopping the Jones trade around, it was not a sure thing that he would be traded. But then, some comments from Julio made it a smart move, because the new regime does not need the disruption that could be caused by a star player who has doubts.

The Falcons are planning to run the ball more in 2021 — that has been clear ever since they picked up monster running back Mike Davis

Do not make the mistake of assuming the Titan offense will be better than the Falcons'. Ryan Tannehill is a very good quarterback, but we don't know yet if he's going to be a Top Five QB like Matt Ryan.

The Falcons have been loaded up on wide receivers for years. Jones was always the main reason a hot player like Russell Gage did not get more targets.  With Jones out so much in 2020, Gage shined. Informed NFL fans also don't need to be reminded of the other great Falcon pass targets, especially Hurst, Ridley and now, Pitts.  Falcon-savvy pundits also know that there are other veteran WR names that may rise: Christian Blake and Olamide Zaccheaus.

I think that the Falcons — with a stronger short-yardage running game — are actually going to cause more trouble for opposing defenses than they did in previous seasons with Jones.

I also think the Falcons’ defense is going to quickly improve, and thus, the offense will not have to score as much as they did in the past.  

In 2021, the Falcons will make the playoffs — without Julio Jones.

Mill Woods

Posted on June 7, 2021 15:26

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It seems Julio Jones really was tricked into disclosing his future plans on live television last month. "I have it on good...

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