FiveThirtyEight: The Falcons needs Julio Jones to play better

Neil Paine previews the Week 9 matchup between the Carolina Panthers and the Atlanta Falcons.
2:45 | 06/18/18

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Transcript for FiveThirtyEight: The Falcons needs Julio Jones to play better
The top the NFC south is crowded with three teams that all have realistic shots to win the division. But we'll get a little more clarity about who might come out on top acted this week's game between the Carolina Panthers in the Atlanta Falcons both teams still have a decent shot at making the post season that this weekend's game would drastically changed each team's situation the Panthers have just a 39% chance of making it right now. But a win would give them a 58% chance to make in the post season while a loss drops those odds all the way down to 22%. Despite having one fewer win than the Panthers the falcons are in better playoff shape they currently have a 53% chance to make in the post season. But a win would propel them to a 70% chance. While a loss would give them only a 35%. For the falcons wanna win this match up and use those odds. They're gonna need their star receiver Julio Jones to resemble his former self. As a first team all pro receiver last year he averaged 100 point six receiving yards per game with an average of seventeen yards per catch and sixth accents. But this season he's only averaging 77 yards per game fourteen point six yards per catch and only one touchdown so. What's wrong with him you look at the average length of each passed that quarterback Matt Ryan throws Jones's way. You'll see a drop from thirteen point nine yards for targeting 2016. To twelve point seven yard for target this year. The main problem seems to be would jones' work on deep roots. The book 2016 and seventeen Julio was targeted roughly the same number of time for game within twenty yards of the line of scrimmage. But on plays of twenty or more yards he was targeted by Ryan 2.2 times per game in 2016. And only one point four times per game in 27 team. This decrease in deep targets is alarming because corner wrecks are playing Jones tighter this year and he hasn't been able to punish them for. It Tony sixteen cornerbacks gave Julio an average of five point one yards of cushion from the line of scrimmage. This season they're playing him much closer providing only four point four yards of cushion. By telling him that much closer they're basically begging him to blow past them for deep plays. Yet still he's only creating the same amount of separation this year as he did last year with a much more space as for the why. Maybe he's injured and maybe he's getting slower with aids. And maybe the falcons' new offensive coordinator is even asking him to play a different role than in the past. Whatever the case this lack of production from a bigtime playmaker should be worrisome for falcon fans everywhere. According to a remodeled this game is basically tossed up were only given the falcons 51% chance of winning. That is and let's Jones can find his old form.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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