5. Julio Jones, 4,471 yards in 50 games
6. Jim Mitchell, 4,358 yards in 155 games
Julio Jones is moving up the Falcons’ all-time receiving yardage list – in a hurry.
The Falcons wideout moved into fifth place in franchise history in just his 50th game as he caught nine passes for 141 yards in Monday night’s season-opening 26-24 win over the Eagles at the Georgia Dome. Jones now has 4,471 career yards as he moved past Jim Mitchell (4,358 yards in 155 games) with an 18-yard first-quarter reception.
Next up is Andre Rison.
So, according to the early results, that $71.25 million was money well spent. Jones signed a five-year deal, with $47.5 million guaranteed, weeks before the season.
Jones had eight catches for 97 yards and two touchdowns in the first half as the Falcons led 20-3 after two quarters. In fact, until the Eagles’ final first-half possession, Jones had more touchdowns (two) than the Eagles had rushing yards (minus-four). Darren Sproles’ 11-yard with 40 seconds left putting the Eagles in the black.
Jones was the clear winner in the $134 million matchup with Eagles cornerback Byron Maxwell, who just signed a $63 million free-agent deal this offseason.
Both of Jones’ touchdowns came in the second quarter. He caught a 4-yarder from Matt Ryan with 10:44 left to cap an 11-play, 88-yard drive. He caught a 22-yarder with 45 seconds left in the period. The score came on the first play, after an Eagles’ illegal contact penalty, following a William Moore interception.
Jones caught on 44-yard pass on the Falcons’ first possession after the Eagles took a 24-23 fourth-quarter lead. The drive resulted in a go-ahead and game-winning field goal.