Atlanta Falcons: Julio Jones will dominate Josh Norman in week 16
The NFL’s best wide receiver is going up against the NFL’s best cornerback in 2015 this Sunday and the chit-chat has already started with several days left before the game.
Atlanta Falcons’ wide receiver Julio Jones is leading the NFL in receiving yards while Carolina Panthers’ cornerback Josh Norman is graded as the best corner in the league according to profootballfocus.com.
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The two squared off two weeks ago in which Norman held Jones to 38 yards receiving, but Jones managed to rack up 88 yards including a 46-yard catch-and-run in the second half. While many would argue that Norman got the best of Jones in their first matchup, smart people would argue that the sample size was way too small.
Jones and fellow Falcons’ wide receiver Roddy White spoke to the media earlier this week and had some very blunt things to say about their dear friend Norman.
“I don’t get like when people say Josh Norman is tough,” Jones said, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Don’t get me wrong, he’s a good player. But they play ‘Cover Two (meaning Norman gets a good deal of safety help).'”
White on the other hand was even harsher on what Norman is doing just a few hours up the road in Carolina.
“I don’t believe he’s a tough guy,” White said. “When you say you’re out there talking, I don’t pay attention to guys like that. I just don’t think he’s a tough guy. He ain’t over there just sitting there locking people up. They don’t play defense like that. That’s not how they play football.”
Both Jones and White emphasized on Norman’s non-ability to lock down receivers. When asked if White felt that Norman was a lockdown defender he answered with, “Hell no.”
“You must be trippin’, White said. “Of covering people? You’ve got to man up and go out there and get after people if you’re going to be that. You can’t sit back and play zone, dropping, playing Cover 2 for half the game and say you’re locking people up. Come on, man. Everybody knows that.”
Jones and White aren’t just flat-out bashing Norman, they have the facts to back it up with. A cover 2 defense allows cornerbacks to sag off of receivers and try to make plays on the ball because of the safety help over the top. Norman is never left on an island with a receiver and asked to lock them down. Watch their film. It’s clear as day.
Watch this tape of Jones vs Norman last season. Norman has safety help on almost every single play and Jones still gets the best of him.
Give props to Norman in their first meeting of 2015. While the sample size was too small, round one goes to Norman but lightning never strikes in the same spot twice. The Falcons have a lot riding on this upcoming game while the Panthers don’t have a lot to lose.
Jones isn’t going to be matched up with Norman on every play, but expect Jones to get some much-needed revenge on Norman and make him look like the loudmouth run-of-the-mill corner that he truly is. It felt like just yesterday that everyone was calling Richard Sherman the best cornerback in the NFL and now nobody talks about him. Don’t expect it Norman’s so-called reign at the top to last very long either.