Mark Bradley

Mark Bradley is a sports columnist and blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Julio Jones is so good he makes opposing fans gasp


Julio Jones snags the almost game-winning TD. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

East Rutherford, N.J. -- These short takes are offered as a companion to the Falcons-Giants game column, which can be found here . The Falcons won 24-20. They're 2-0.

1. If you don't see Julio Jones on a regular basis, he's unbelievable. Even if you do, he's still unbelievable. As Matt Ryan, who has thrown every NFL pass caught by Jones, said Sunday: "There's things he does where you're like, 'I can't believe he just did that.' " The MetLife Stadium patrons actually gasped when Jones used safety Brandon Meriweather as a catapult to grab Ryan's high pass from the end zone. The same folks made do with groans when he blew past Prince Amukamara for what was almost the game-winning touchdown. (A replay ruled that Jones was down at the 1.) "He just ran by him," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "It was just a 'go' route; he threw it up in the air and he went and got it."

2. And how did Prince Amukamara feel afterward? "Julio is one of the best wide receivers in the game," the cornerback told reporters. "I feel like I'm starting to be one of the best in the game. It was good on good. He just made a play." Also this: "I felt like we did a pretty good job on him the first half. I think the second half he was starting to heat up. On that play with me, he just made a play." Reality check: Jones had eight catches for 49 yards in the first half, five for 86 yards in the second. Meaning: He was good all day.

3. And what did Jones have to say for himself? "Every year I challenge myself to get better. You're either getting better or getting worse -- everyone says that, but it's true." And how has he improved? "The effort was always there, but I'm wiser." And what does Ryan think of Jones' drive to improve? "Sometimes you're like, 'Hey, man. You're doing a great job as it is.' That's what makes him the special player he is ... I hope he does improve. If he gets better than he already is, that's going to be good for us."


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About the Author

Mark Bradley is a sports columnist and blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has been with the AJC since 1984.