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Julio Jones smashes two more NFL receiving records in Falcons' win over Bucs

Posted Nov 26, 2017

Jones put together the type of outing that only the elite of the elite are capable of, and he reasserted his claim as the NFL’s top wide receiver.

ATLANTA -- The Falcons earned their third straight victory, and their first division win of the season on Sunday, beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 34-20 to improve to 7-4 and remain in the thick of the playoff race. But the real story of the day was Julio Jones.

Jones put together the type of outing that only the elite of the elite are capable of, and he reasserted his claim as the NFL’s top wide receiver. Against the Buccaneers (4-7), Jones caught 12 passes – one short of his career high – for 253 yards and two touchdowns.

“We just keep building,” Jones said of the offense. “You never know whose game it’s going to be, that’s why I’m not a stats guy. I can’t get down and not go out there and play for my brothers. That’s being selfish and then you’re not allowing your brothers to go out there and play their best ball. If those other guys on the field, the other 10 guys on the field with me, and I was doing my thing today and they decided ‘OK, I’m not going to do something today; I’m not getting the ball; I’m not doing this, I’m not doing that,’ I don’t have the day I had today, without them.”

Through his first 90 games, Jones has caught more passes (563) and gained more yards (8,649) than any other player in NFL history, breaking Lance Alworth’s record for receiving yards and Anquan Boldin’s record for receptions.

Sunday marked the 38th time in his career that Jones gained more than 100 receiving yards, leaving him one shy of tying Roddy White’s record for the most 100-yard games by a receiving in Falcons history.

Jones’ 253-yard performance was also the third time the he topped 250 yards in a game. No other active player in the NFL has more than one 250-plus yard receiving performance.

A 51-yard touchdown pass from Mohamed Sanu, who was operating out of the “12-gauge” wildcat formation, to Jones jumpstarted the Falcons’ offense, which gained 516 total yards and scored four touchdowns in the victory.

“Mo, he’s a great quarterback,” Jones said after the game. “He’s got a great deep ball … we throw a lot every day at practice, throwing the ball around. I’ve just seen his ball hundreds of times. I just knew when I came and lined up, I was just trying to see what the guy outside of me was going to do. He kind of just stayed there, and I was just 1-on-1 with the safety. Mo had a canon. He just gave me an opportunity to go out there and make a play.”

Five of Jones’ receptions came on third down to give the Falcons’ offense a fresh set of downs and remain on the field. Against Tampa Bay, Atlanta converted a staggering 79 percent of its third-down opportunities, and Jones made several key grabs to help sustain drives.

“At the end of the day, I want to win,” Jones said. “That’s my main goal. When I line up, I want to win.”

“We just keep building,” Jones said of the offense. “You never know whose game it’s going to be, that’s why I’m not a stats guy. I can’t get down and not go out there and play for my brothers. That’s being selfish and then you’re not allowing your brothers to go out there and play their best ball. If those other guys on the field, the other 10 guys on the field with me, and I was doing my thing today and they decided ‘OK, I’m not going to do something today; I’m not getting the ball; I’m not doing this, I’m not doing that,’ I don’t have the day I had today, without them.”

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