Did you know that A.J. Green has gone over the thousand-yard mark in all 4 seasons? For all the talk about Green getting nicked up, you have to admit that he’s a tough guy that plays through pain since he’s only missed 4 games. How good do I think he’s going to be this season? Well, Marvin Jones and Tyler Eifert will be on the field with him, and there aren’t many backfields better than what the Bengals have.
Cincinnati has become accustomed to reaching the postseason and will remain in the hunt, Green is a big part of that success. The AFC North may have Joe Haden, but that’s pretty much the only standout from the secondary in the entire division.
Julio Jones on the other hand has been sidelined for 15 games in 4 seasons. Last year was really his coming out party, snatching over 100 balls for nearly 1,600 yards. In 2012 he caught 10 touchdowns but unlike Green, he has an upper echelon franchise quarterback in Matt Ryan. We will soon find out if Jones can be productive and durable for consecutive seasons. Across from him is an aging Roddy White, but the backfield has some youth and Jacob Tamme is a serviceable tight end that Atlanta didn’t have a year ago.
The Falcons went from clinching a bye a few years ago to drafting near the top of the order. Jones’ health has played a factor in that.The NFC South consists of weaker defenses. You may be thinking Carolina, but they have things to prove up front. They are merely hoping that a veteran like Charles Tillman can shadow Jones twice this season.
Does everything have to come down comparisons? I mean, it’s great that these standout receivers have earned recent contract extensions heading into the season, but to be honest they still have unfinished business. These aren’t necessarily polished products, despite each wide out flashing greatness and dominance. Before even talking about Green and Jones on the field, the first lesson they should have learned is to take absolute care of their bodies to prepare for each grueling season.
Jones is the faster player and considered more of a deep threat. Green is a guy that sheds a tackle or someone a QB can throw a fade to. Now, that doesn’t mean that the other guy doesn’t have the same ability or characteristic, but those are my perceived strengths that they possess. There’s a reason that you see both of these studs get targeted on screens, downfield, and celebrating their brand new deals. With nearly identical measurables, Green has been more durable while Jones has made more plays when on the field.