Xavier Rhodes has had some success against Julio Jones

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The Buccaneers couldn’t stop Falcons receiver Julio Jones on Sunday. In four days, the Vikings hope to.

Toward that end, the Vikings have something the Bucs don’t: cornerback Xavier Rhodes. During two prior meetings, Rhodes had done a nice job keeping Jones from taking over the game.

“It’s the same regimen, same thing,” Rhodes said earlier this week, via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “Go into the game, don’t believe in the hype, don’t be afraid of the name, just believe in the game. I know he’s one of the best receivers in the league, and I’ve just got to go out and play with the mindset of having confidence going against him.”

Via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Rhodes held Jones to two catches for 27 yards while covering him only part of the time during a 2014 game. In 2015, Jones had another two catches for 18 yards when covered by Rhodes, again only part of the time.

This time around, Rhodes could be seeing Jones most of the time. And Rhodes knows it won’t be easy.

“[He’s] big, fast, physical,” Rhodes said of Jones. “I don’t believe he has any weakness at all. He’s focused. Doesn’t talk much on the field. So it’s hard to get in his head. Yeah, he’s just Julio.”

Julio being Julio was just enough to give Jones the third 250-yard performance of his career against the Buccaneers, who according to their head coach tried 14 different coverages to stop Jones.

“We had everything from the cornerback falling down, to a linebacker running out of [his] zone, to not getting pressure on the quarterback, to double moves, to them high-lowing us in a two-deep coverage and throwing over the corner’s head,” Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter said. “Every way you can beat those different coverages, they all happened. Nothing worked, and it was frustrating for everybody.’’

Rhodes will now try to frustrate Jones by keeping him under 100 yards. Or maybe under 150. Or maybe 200.

20 responses to “Xavier Rhodes has had some success against Julio Jones

  1. Well I like Rhodes confidence, he didn’t exactly play lights out against another Jones this past Thanksgiving. If he doesn’t do better against Julio, it will be a long day for the Viking defense.

  2. Julio has been a shell of himself all season. He’s coming off an amazing game against a team that has given up on their season. I’d expect him to do roughly 1/4 what he did last weekend against this Vikings defense, which really is about his average game (this season) before last week.

  3. The biggest question related to his success will be how the refs will call this game. They are both physical guys and if they nit pick on contact all day it will get ugly, and as a viewer, sickening. Last week Stafford proved you don’t have to shy away from Rhodes. And Marvin ain’t no Julio! Rhodes had better be ready as Ryan will try to throw JJ open.

  4. Each game is a new game. I’d love to get excited about the success Rhodes has had in the past. But each game is a new game. It’s going to take a solid effort by the whole secondary to keep julio in check.

  5. Jones has one big blowup game every year and the rest of the year he’s remarkably mediocre, given his talent. He had his big game last week.

    Rhodes has been shutting down #1 receivers like Antonio Brown and Mike Evans all year, until last week. It seemed like the calf he hurt against the Rams was still bothering him. There was also a weird play when Terrance Newman was the 12th man on the field and instead of running off and drawing a penalty, he just hoped no one would notice and doubled Marvin Jones with Rhodes. It seemed like Newman actually got in the way of Rhodes and Jones caught a long TD. There was also a bogus PI call that may have limited his aggressiveness. Rhodes is a physical corner so how the officials call the game will be big.

  6. When everything is clicking perfectly, you’re not going to stop Julio Jones. But also, Rhodes is probably the best CB in the league these days, so you’re probably not going to challenge him too often.

  7. Did some dude say Julio Jones has one good game a year? He’s got thirty eight 100 yard games in his career already. He has the highest yards per game average in history and he is miles ahead of everyone who has ever played the game except for OBJ Jr. But keep hating I guess.

  8. Rhodes played fine last week. Yes Marvin Jones had a good game, but Thursday games are always weird. Players usually either boom for a huge game or play terrible. Jones had one big play for a touchdown because Newman was in the way.

    It worked out great at the end of the game when Stafford chucked it to Jones, and got picked off to lose the game. 🙂

    Juli Jones is a really good player but Rhodes has done well against him. He has shutdown, Brown, Evans, Thomas, OBJ, and Julio in the past 3 years. Marvin Jones probably had the best game against him in a fluky Thursday game.

    Three key battles will determine the game:

    1. Julio Jones vs. Rhodes – Jones can ruin a game for a team.
    2. Anthony Barr and Kendricks vs – The Running Backs. Atlanta has a great set of backs.
    3. The Vikings good offensive line – vs Atlanta’s great pass rush – Case can make plays if he has time. This will be a good battle.

  9. It took spectacular catches for marvin jones to have a big game vs Rhodes, we know that Julio can make great catches as well, but there’s no one else in the NFL I would want covering him and Rhodes had success the first two times, hopefully he can do it again…

  10. They are both at the top or near the top at their respective positions. It could literally go either way, and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit.

  11. Marvin Jones last week was a burn of an aberration. As somebody else already pointed out, Newman was late getting off the field so he just stayed as a 12th man and seemed to play Jones in a way that made it difficult for either one to defend the pass. If you take that out, it really wasn’t that bad. As an aside, not blaming refs for anything but I hope the Vikings don’t see that ref crew again this season.

    Everyone seems to be expecting the Falcons to roll on Sunday, except Vikings fans, so we’ll see. AS we get closer to the playoffs, against two likely playoff teams in a row, I wonder if they will hold off on putting some things on tape (which would definitely make it harder to win sunday, but might help when it matters). Of course, I want to see a Viking blowout every week (in which they win, to be clear).

  12. ariani1985 says:
    November 29, 2017 at 10:57 am
    just think that the Packers passed on Xavier and selected Brian Brohm…

    Oh no, this type of argument could go on forever with no winner. Let’s just be happy the Vikes got it right and leave our Packer friends to their own thread.

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