With Julio Jones officially being traded to the Tennessee Titans, it signals the end of an era with the Atlanta Falcons. It was an era in which he and Matt Ryan formed one of best quarterback/wide receiver duos the league has ever seen.
It was a tenure that saw him and Calvin Ridley form one of the premier receiving cores in the NFL. With all this said, lets now take a look back at Julio Jones’ best moments with the Atlanta Falcons.
First touchdown catch for the Falcons against the Colts
Arguably one of the greatest catches of the decade, Julio Jones’ diving touchdown catch against the Indianapolis Colts was truly remarkable to see. After witnessing Matt Ryan toss a 50-yard bomb into triple coverage, which seemed incredibly risky, you’d never guess that Julio Jones reeled it in for the score. A play that was initially ruled no good, but eventually overturned after a replay review showed how difficult the catch was to make. There really isn’t a more difficult way to get your first touchdown catch than falling down and battling through triple coverage while doing so, but for Julio Jones it was simply a walk in the park for the Falcons.
300-yard game for Falcons against the Panthers
Julio Jones putting on a historical performance against the Panthers is forever a moment to remember. A game where Julio put on a receiving clinic by recording 12 catches on 300-yards receiving and a touchdown. This was a true showing of Julio Jones absolutely torching the Panthers secondary all day long. With this signature performance for the Falcons, he would join Calvin Johnson as only the second player since the league merger to achieve that stat line.
Sideline catch against the Patriots in the Super Bowl LI
This will forever go down as one of the greatest catches in Super Bowl history, a play that re-defines inhuman athleticism and the difficulty of being a number one wide receiver in this league. It was a play where Eric Rowe had inside position on him and he was on the verge of falling out of bounds, but Julio Jones somehow reeled in the catch and re-established his footing while managing to stay in-bounds for a 27-yard gain that kept the chains moving for the Falcons.
Even though the Falcons lost the game, Julio’s side-line catch was a highlight reel that proved him to be a clutch performer in high stakes situations. If they had gone on to win this game, that would’ve been the defining moment of their victory.
73-yard touchdown run against the Packers
It was a play that only seemed like a simple slant pass for a short gain, but through sheer athleticism and steady maneuvering Julio Jones was able to make the most of this play and run it home for a 73-yard touchdown. In a game that was a blowout from the start for the Falcons, this play just added insult to injury for the Green Bay Packers. Then again, trying to stop Julio Jones while he’s running at full speed in the open field isn’t really an easy task for anyone to take on.
70-yard touchdown catch over Luke Kuechly
Making one of the craziest catches imaginable, Julio Jones managed to grab a 70-yard toss from Matt Ryan over Luke Kuechly, who at the time was considered the best if not a top 3 linebacker in the NFL. His leaping ability for the Falcons, matched with the strength and length to be able to pull the ball away from somebody as big, fast, and strong as Luke Kuechly, was mind blowing.
It still is unbelievable to this day. It may be more unreal that he just was able to do it so seamlessly, and in a way few receivers have ever done it for the Falcons.
With all these great moments he’s had for the Falcons, it’s safe to say that the Tennessee Titans are in for a real treat. The quarterback/wide receiver combination he’ll form with Ryan Tannehill while also forming one of the scariest offensive trios in the NFL with Derrick Henry and AJ Brown is something the rest of the league will definitely fear next season.
Who knows, with the Falcons behind him, this could be the move that gets the Titans over the hump and into the Super Bowl for the first time since Jeff Fisher, Steve McNair, and Eddie George were running the show.