Atlanta Falcons linebacker Deion Jones is quickly becoming one of the best at his position and one of the best defenders in the NFL.
Atlanta Falcons linebacker Deion Jones was in the running for Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2016. That season, he totaled 108 tackles and three interceptions.
In 2017, Jones shattered expectations. Exceeding his 2016 campaign with 138 total tackles and three interceptions. However, he was a snub for the Pro Bowl despite the dominance he displayed throughout the regular season.
The Falcons’ defense finished ninth in the NFL and proved to be the best defense that Atlanta has seen in over a decade. Jones’ contributions have been a significant factor in the progress that Atlanta’s defense has made a season later.
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Had the Falcons had 2017’s defense in their Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots, the outcome may have been a Lombardi Trophy with a parade in downtown Atlanta.
Jones’ versatility at linebacker really caught my attention. He knows how to read defenses and to blow up plays in the backfield. A surprising trait that I saw was his ability to drop back in coverage on receivers and break up passes. This was in full effect when he intercepted New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees to seal a Falcons’ win last month.
Jones brings a type of intensity to the Falcons’ defense that the city hasn’t seen in a very long time.
Over the past five seasons, Atlanta’s defense would give up big plays and ultimately a lot of points. The Falcons were able to limit their opponents to less than 20 points six times in 2017.
When the offense failed to put up at least 20 or more points, the team went 0-7. When 20 or more points were scored, Atlanta was 11-0.
Jones’ talent and the passion that he brings to the Falcons reminds me of a young, former Baltimore Raven linebacker, Ray Lewis.
Jones has already proved himself within the span of two seasons and if he carries this same momentum heading into 2018, he has the potential to be the best linebacker in the league.
Defense wins championships and Jones could be the key ingredient in the Falcons potentially winning the Super Bowl in Atlanta next season.