Entering Weel 9 of the NFL season, Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones has just two touchdowns, that’s five less than the six other receivers on the team who all are tied for a league-leading seven scores.
But, don’t ask Jones about stats because he doesn’t care.
“I want to win games,” Jones told the local media on Thursday. “As long as we win, I don’t care who’s scoring the touchdown. I’m not a stat guy, I don’t play the game [saying] I want to score a touchdown. I’m not a selfish player in that sense.”
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Jones Praises Former Alabama Wideout
Come Sunday when the Falcons take on the Broncos and Calvin Ridley is cleared to play, then there will be three former Alabama star wideouts on the field: Jones, Ridley, and Broncos’ Jerry Jeudy.
The veteran of the group, Julio Jones, has mentored both Ridley and Jeudy since they’ve all left Bama. Jones spends a lot of the offseason training in Tuscaloosa.
Since watching him through the years, Jeudy has earned Julio Jones’ respect.
“Amazing receiver … his ability to get in and out of routes,” Jones said Thursday. “He has all the intangibles to be a great receiver. He’s a rookie right now, he has to keep working and keep building.
Over three seasons at Alabama, Jeudy had 159 catches for 2,742 yards and 26 touchdowns.
He left the Roll Tide a year early for the draft where the Broncos drafted him in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. For the Broncos, the 21-year-old has 23 catches for 359 yards on the year.
A Closer Look at Denver
Both Denver and Atlanta are coming off of a win. The Broncos received one of the franchise’s most surprising wins on Sunday defeating the Chargers 31-30. They were down 24-3 over halfway through the third quarter but managed to come back with a Drew Lock connection to KJ Hamler for a 1-yard TD pass. That was UDFA rookie Hamler’s first touchdown of his career.
Lock finished the night with 248 yards and three scores. He was terrible until he went 14 of 18 passes for 155 yards and three touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
Entering Sunday’s matchup, the Broncos will down some notable players including receiver Tim Patrick (hamstring) and still defensive coordinator Ed Donatell (COVID-19). Cornerback AJ Bouye and tight end Nick Vannett are also questionable this week.
Atlanta Moves 2-1 Under Interim Coach
As for Atlanta, they secured their second win of the season over the Carolina Panthers to improve 2-1 under interim coach Raheem Morris.
Matty Ryan threw for 281 yards with a pick and had a rare rushing score for 13 yards. Julio Jones did what Jones does best and reeled in seven passes for 137 yards. That marked Jones’ 58th career 100-yard receiving game, the most in the NFL since his 2011 rookie year.
On the injury side of things, the Falcons lost their other top receiver, Calvin Ridley, to an ankle injury and Kendall Sheffield to a concussion. Their status for Week 9 is “day-to-day.” Ridley has gone off this season having 43 catches for 657 yards and six touchdowns.
Let’s hope he’s healthy for Sunday so we can watch the Roll Tide showdown first hand.