Quintorris Lopez Jones is good. Quintorris Lopez Jones can catch a football. Quintorris Lopez Jones is a beast and it shows in the numbers why he has the easiest path to finish as the top WR in 2016. By the way, Quintorris Lopez Jones also goes by the name, Julio Jones, if you haven’t Googled it by this point.
I’ve been waiting a couple years now for Julio to put a full season of work together. Don’t get me wrong, he has been one of the top receivers in the game since he has come into the National Football League. I just believe his numbers could look a lot better. He has never had more than 10 touchdowns in his young career. However, he managed 1,593 receiving yards and six TDs in 2014 and 1,871 receiving yards and eight TDs.
Only Demaryius Thomas (5.7) had a lower touchdown rate for guys who caught over 100 balls. Again, Julio Jones tied Antonio Brown with 136 receptions last season and only had eight touchdowns to show for it. Yes, Antonio Brown only had 10 touchdowns himself but these two are totally different receivers. Jones is as gifted physically as they come. He is 6’4”, 220 pounds and ran a 4.39 40 with a broken bone in his foot. Now who is to blame for this touchdown rate nonsense? I would have to put the blame on two factors that go hand-in-hand, which also may have caused the Atlanta Falcons to have a lost season in 2015.
The first being the offensive line, specifically in the pass blocking department as well as the interior line. They struggled all last year at the center position but have addressed the issue this offseason. The second factor is Matt Ryan. Did Matt Ryan hold onto the ball too long? Yes. Did the offensive line break down on multiple occasions? Yes. Both are recipes for disaster when you can’t get a consistent flow on offense.
So let’s delve into why Quintorris Lopez Jones will be the top WR this season.
Why Julio Jones Has The Easiest Path To Being The Top WR in 2016
So-Called Falcons O-Line
A lot of Julio Jones’ production comes on deep balls down the field, where his ability to use his size to out jump smaller corners or outrun the bigger safeties is such a weapon. What you need is time in the pocket to deliver the ball down field. The interior offensive line could not hold their own this past season. Chris Chester and Andy Levitre, who both started for the Falcons last season, are very solid run blocking lineman. When it comes to pass blocking, it’s a whole different story. Levitre allowed 41 quarterback pressures, which was the fourth most in the league. Chester was right there, allowing 34 pressures according to Pro Football Focus.
Mike Person had four fumbled snaps and was in the center of the line who gave up 32 sacks (eighth most in the league) as well as giving up 89 quarterback hits. For a quarterback who makes most of his money throwing in the pocket, that is not a great combo and it showed last season for Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons.
Five years, $45 million dollars and $28.5 million dollars guaranteed changes thing quite a bit when Atlanta hands those dollar bills to Alex Mack, the three-time pro bowl center. One of the main weaknesses in that offensive line goes from bad to great. Both tackles were fantastic last year for the Falcons and we know Mack will be a consistent cog in the center of that line. Now if Chester and Levitre can improve just a bit in the interior, Ryan should have time in the pocket to get the ball downfield to Jones to make him the top wide receiver this year.
Matt Ryan … FIND THE END ZONE!
Over the last two seasons, Matt Ryan was ranked fifth in passing yards with 4,694 and 4,591 yards respectively. With those yardage totals, you wouldn’t guess that in those two seasons he threw 28 and 21 touchdowns. In fact, the only guy in the last two seasons to land in the Top 5 in passing yards and not eclipse the 30 touchdown mark was Philip Rivers (29 TDs).
Touchdowns are very fluky for wide receivers in any given year and it all comes down to the quarterback throwing you the ball. Take Calvin Johnson’s record breaking 2012 season, for example. Calvin overtook Jerry Rice’s single season yards total, ending with a 1,964 yards. Great season right! BUT …, he had five total touchdowns that season…
His quarterback, Matthew Stafford, threw for 4,967 yards. What a fantastic season. But, he had 20 touchdowns and 17 interceptions…
Now the season before that, Calvin Johnson had 1,681 yards and 16 touchdowns. Matthew Stafford threw for 5,038 yards to go with 41 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. Again, wide receiver touchdowns are very inconsistent if you are dealing with a very inconsistent quarterback, year-in and year-out.
The yards are there for Julio Jones, as shown over the last two seasons. Matt Ryan needs to deliver with a 35 touchdown season, which I believe he can do. The additions of Alex Mack to clear up the interior O-line issues and Mohamed Sanu to add another threat in the passing game will only help. Once the touchdowns and yards neutralize, which could be this year for Julio, watch out because you will be holding the top player by the end of the year.
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