Is Julio Jones Finally Putting AJ Green in His Rear-View Mirror?

Adam OdekirkContributor IINovember 6, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 6: Julio Jones #11 of the Atlanta Falcons runs downfield with an 80-yard touchdown pass against the Indianapolis Colts during the first half of their game at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 6, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Julio Jones finally found the end zone for the first time as an Atlanta Falcon against the Indianapolis Colts. In fact, he found it twice and now that he has, fans are wondering if the flood gates will open for the talented young receiver.

Up until today there was no question that AJ Green in Cincinnati was the cream of the crop in terms of rookie wide receivers. Green not only leads the league in receiving yards for wideouts, but also touchdown grabs with five entering Week 9.

Speaking purely from statistics it is hard to say that Jones has surpassed Green with his sterling performance against the woeful Colts. Although, the future could potentially be brighter for Jones in the near future than Green.

Talent wise, the nod most likely needs to be given to AJ Green, which is also a huge factor in the impressive play of Andy Dalton so far this season. His pure athletic ability has been on display regularly throughout this NFL season mainly because he and Dalton have established a quick rapport.

Jones on the other hand has had to battle injury and a very crowded Falcons offense in order to shine. With Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez and even Michael Turner as legitimate threats on offense it should not be a surprise that it has taken this long for Jones to finally find the end zone.

Matt Ryan has not lit up the stat sheet this season and that very much plays into the impact that Jones has been able to have. However, even if Ryan were shining this season it would surely have a bigger impact on Roddy White's statistics than Julio Jones.

If AJ Green's statistics are a clear indication of his sheer ability on the field, than Julio Jones' accomplishments are a testament to his work ethic.

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 06:  A.J. Green #18 of the Cincinnati Bengals makes a catch as Akeem Ayers #56 and Jason McCourty #30 of the Tennessee Titans defend during play at LP Field on November 6, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/G
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

It was no surprise that Dalton looked for Green early and often in Cincinnati as Green entered camp as the clear cut No. 1 receiver. In Atlanta, Julio Jones entered an offense where he was going to have work tirelessly to be seen and targeted on a regular basis.

If today's performance by Jones has shown anything, it is that Matt Ryan might have seen the proof that Jones can be a playmaker for this offense.

Julio Jones still has a lot of big catches to make in order to pull ahead of AJ Green and put him in his rear-view mirror. If anything he is still a car length or two behind even despite today's performance.

Although, if Matt Ryan has finally decided to let Julio Jones ride shotgun in an offense that is starting to click, it might be a more exciting ride than what Andy Dalton can offer Green in Cincy.