Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones expects the Panthers to adjust the way they cover him this week.
Considering he burned them for 300 yards in their first meeting last year, that’s a reasonable expectation.
Jones knows things are different this time through, and is trying to be ready for anything.
“Obviously, they’re going to do some things to probably limit those things we did in the past, especially me, but we’ll see,” Jones said, via Matt Winkeljohn of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Me, I don’t care what I see. I’m trying to get a win. We just take what they give us.
“They’re a very aggressive team, and they like to play man-to-man outside and put a lot of pressure on the quarterback.”
In the first meeting between the teams, the Panthers’ best of their young cornerbacks, James Bradberry, left the game early with a toe injury. Jones then caught 12 passes for 300 yards.
Bradberry was back for the second game, when Jones caught four passes for 60 yards. But beyond that, the Panthers were more willing to offer help to slow down the Falcons star.
Like the rest of the Falcons, Jones hasn’t replicated last year’s success so far this season. He only caught three passes last week against the Jets, but they’re hoping a 53-yard gain becomes a new trend.
“That was to me one of the real keys last week, seeing that play because he leads our team in explosive plays by quite a bit,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “He hasn’t had as many on third downs so for sure that’s a part of our game that we know we can improve on.”
Keeping him in check will clearly be a part of the Panthers plan, and with a healthy secondary this time through they at least have a chance.