As the Atlanta Falcons find themselves without Julio Jones for the first time in a decade at the start of training camp, there will still be plenty of competition in the receiver’s room as the Falcons are loaded with plenty of talent to run Arthur Smith’s offense.
Calvin Ridley’s talent and ability to take over the number one receiver’s spot have been well documented, and Russell Gage will be ready to fill the number two slot for the Atlanta Falcons in 2021. Unproven guys like Christian Blake, Frank Darby, Olamide Zaccheaus, and Chris Rowland will be ready to roll as well.
Julio Jones will miss Matt Ryan and the Falcons a lot more than they will miss him.
The Tennessee Titans are the media darling because of their success over the last couple of years with an offense directed by former offensive coordinator Arthur Smith, they obviously don’t have him anymore – we know as much about the Titans’ ability as we know about the Falcons in 2021 – nothing.
The assumption is that they will be good – but remember, 60 percent of the teams from the previous year don’t return and even fewer make the playoffs three years in a row.
Atlanta Falcons have a far better quarterback than the Titans
Over the last two seasons, Ryan Tannehill went from worst NFL quarterback to his one and only Pro Bowl appearance in 2019. He has 55 touchdowns to just 13 interceptions – though his career numbers tell a far different story and it’s one that everyone seems to be willing to overlook.
Does he have a stronger arm than Matt Ryan? Sure – and he should, Matt is four years older and has played in almost 100 more games.
Matt is a better leader and a far better quarterback even with the Atlanta Falcons posting three straight losing seasons. He has also missed fewer games in his entire career than Tannehill has missed in the last two seasons.
The Titans have a far better offensive line and much better run game but that wasn’t what Julio was looking for. Julio wanted a “big-armed QB that could deliver the deep ball” so that he could “outrun defensive backs” and just because a quarterback has a big arm, doesn’t mean he is accurate.
The only quarterback to have more deep ball attempts than Matt Ryan in 2020 – Tom Brady. Tannehill wasn’t in the Top 10.
Given how good the Titans’ run game was in 2020, the Titans should have been great in play-action to take advantage of defenses trying to stop Derrick Henry. Tannehill was terrible completing just 58 percent of his throws out of play-action; Matt Ryan completed 70 percent of his when using play-action in 2020 and the Atlanta Falcons run game was awful.
Julio Jones wanted a change and the Atlanta Falcons granted that change but as they say, be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.
By week two of the regular season, Julio will want Matt back.