Constant Debate: A.J. Green vs. Julio Jones in Year II

The common question mark for quarterbacks entering their second season is whether they will avoid the dreaded “sophomore slump.” The opposite is generally true for wide receivers, who historically make a giant leap in year two.

However, both Julio Jones and A.J. Green came out of the gate in their rookie campaigns and hung some serious numbers in a historic season for passing offense. Jones missed three games for the Atlanta Falcons, but still averaged 73.8 yards per game (959 total) with eight touchdowns. Green missed just one game and averaged 70.5 yards per game (1,057 total) with seven TDs for the Cincinnati Bengals.

Compare that to some other big-time wide receivers’ rookie and sophomore seasons:

Player

First Season

Second Season

 

Yards/GM

TDs

Yards/GM

TDs

Calvin Johnson 50.4 4 83.2 12
Larry Fitzgerald 48.8 8 88.1 10
Andre Johnson 61.0 4 71.4 6

Since Jones and Green both outdistanced the above trio in their first year, odds are they won’t have as big a jump in year two.

Steve Wyche and Mark Kriegel weighed in on Wednesday’s “NFL AM,” taking sides in the debate over who will have the better second season (a question fantasy football players have been debating since last season ended).

“Julio Jones has other people to take the double coverages off of him,” Wyche said. “He is going to be singled up at times and one thing about his quarterback, Matt Ryan, he does an exceptional job of finding the matchup advantages. Mike Smith, when we had him on, said he is going to throw the ball a little bit more, they are going to throw it to Julio Jones.”

Kriegel, on the other hand, gushed about Adriel Jeremiah Green.

“Jones may be special too, but he is part of an ensemble with Roddy White, A.J. Green is out there by himself, and he, again, has been double-teamed going back through his history in high school and all throughout the SEC, double teams don’t bother him,” he said.

“Both these guys are great players,” Wyche said, “but I am going to go with Julio Jones to have the better sophomore season.”

Let the debate continue.

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