Julio Jones #11 and Roddy White #84 of the Atlanta Falcons celebrate Jones' touchdown. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Welcome to 'Why the Chargers Will Lose', a weekly feature where we tell you why the San Diego Chargers might lose to their upcoming opponent.
I've watched both of Jones' games this year, his second season (and first with a real training camp), and can tell you that Charger fans should be terrified of this guy. Against the Chiefs, Jones caught 6 passes for 108 yards and 2 TDs, and he made it look really easy.
I know, you're wondering what happened in that Broncos game where he caught just 4 passes for 14 yards. Denver must have figured out how to cover him, right? Nope. Wrong. Jones was getting open with the same frequency he always does (in his last 4 games of 2011, he had 20 catches for 393 yards and 6 TDs), but someone must've slathered his hands with butter before the game. He simply couldn't hold onto the ball, which is not normal for him. I would not expect the same thing to happen this week.
To keep Jones from going insane, the Chargers will need to dedicate a Safety to his side of the field (probably Eric Weddle, who is better in coverage). That'd be an easy fix if he were the only dangerous weapon on the Falcons offense.
Did anybody else realize that Roddy White has made the Pro Bowl in each of the last four seasons? That's incredible! Randy Moss never made four consecutive Pro Bowls. Vincent Jackson, who was drafted the same year was Roddy, has only made two Pro Bowls. Actually, let's look at that draft class of WRs for a second because it's laughably bad:
- Braylon Edwards
- Troy Williamson
- Mike Williams (the one from USC, not the one on Tampa Bay)
- Matt Jones
- Mark Clayton
- Roddy White
It's time to start believing in Matt Ryan. The comparison I've made to pre-neck-injury Peyton Manning looks more real every week, and that Peyton Manning might be the greatest QB to ever play the game.
In his last four games of last season, Ryan threw 10 touchdowns against zero interceptions. He's kept up that pace this season, throwing 5 TDs and zero interceptions in his first two games. Did I also mention that he has fantastic mobility? It's led to him being sacked just twice in the first two games, despite a pretty pathetic looking offensive line in front of him.
Plain and simple, you can't gameplan against Matt Ryan right now. If you can stop Julio Jones deep, Roddy White can beat you either deep or underneath. If you can stop both of those guys, Tony Gonzalez is right there to pick up frustrating first down after frustrating first down with the underneath stuff. If you dedicate 2 high Safeties to stop the deep stuff and the LBs are able to stop Tony Gonzalez underneath, you might wake up the once-potent Falcons rushing attack.
There's nothing this team can't do with its personnel on offense, and Matt Ryan has finally become the QB that can be aggressive in using all of these weapons without making any mistakes. It's a scary thing to imagine going up against, if you're John Pagano.