Julio Jones' latest showing at the Georgia Dome—nine catches, 178 receiving yards, one touchdown—helped the Falcons beat the Panthers and, in many eyes, solidified him as the NFL's best wideout through 16 weeks. Moreover, those eye-popping numbers have made it possible for him to break a pair of big NFL records next Sunday.
Here's some perspective on Jones' accomplishments thus far in 2015:
- With 127 catches through 15 games, Jones is 16 behind Marvin Harrison's amount from 2002, currently the single-season receptions record. Although it'd be difficult to tie or break, the Saints have an especially bad defense, one that's given up the most touchdown throws in NFL history.
- With three receptions versus the Saints, Jones would unseat Antonio Brown for second place on that list. He's tallied at least four receptions in every game this season.
- At present, Jones is one of six NFL players to amass 1,700 receiving yards in one year. The other five: Harrison, Calvin Johnson, Jerry Rice, Isaac Bruce and Charley Hennigan.
- If Jones earns 243 receiving yards against New Orleans, he'll surpass Johnson for the most single-season receiving yards in league history (1,965). Pulling that off will be difficult, yes, but Jones did gain 253 receiving yards last year in Green Bay, so it's not impossible.
- Even if Jones doesn't break Johnson's record, he can easily leapfrog some other WRs in that category. A single yard would put him in lone possession of fifth all-time; 25 yards would propel him into fourth; 59 yards would be enough for third; and 127 yards would bump Rice to down a spot and vault Jones into second place.
- Jones has been particularly effective when lined up inside. In 2015, he has 2.75 yards per route run in the slot—second only to Odell Beckham, Jr. Overall, his yards per route (2.97) is tops in the league.
- On a team level, Jones has already moved to the top of two single-season categories. Jones caught his 116th reception in Week 14, setting a new Falcons record that had previously been held by Roddy White. During Atlanta's rematch with Carolina, he broke his own single-season mark for receiving yards, set a mere 12 months ago
- In Tampa Bay, Jones moved into fourth in Falcons history in career receiving yards, passing Andre Rison. He needs 215 receiving yards to reach third on that list and send Alfred Jenkins down to fourth. Jones is now 1,297 receiving yards behind Terence Mathis and 4,801 shy of White, who, of course, can still add to his total.