The football world was rocked when it was announced that the Atlanta Falcons (finally) traded Julio Jones to the Tennessee Titans. Despite Jones now being paired with A.J. Brown with the Titans, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers still have the NFL’s best wide receiver duo.
Let’s start this off right now by stating the obvious. Brown is an absolute stud and will be for a long time, and Jones will end up in Canton. Now that that’s out of the way let’s take a reality. Brown’s legacy is more dependent on his future, despite being presently great, and Jones’ is on his past. Currently, in today’s NFL, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are the NFL’s best pass-catching tandem.
Based on the eye test, it’d be completely understandable why the average NFL fan would assume that Jones and Brown would be better than Evans and Godwin. Just look at them. They are absolute thoroughbreds of human beings that are consistently overwhelming mismatches for NFL cornerbacks.
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The thing is, the eye test only tells part of the story. Thanks primarily to fantasy football, NFL consumers have become obsessed with stats and numbers, so let’s take a look.
Jones has gotten his when it comes to yardage his entire career. He is a machine in this regard. However, they don’t put yards on the scoreboard. They do put touchdowns on there though. Since Godwin joined the league in 2017, both Evans and Godwin both have more touchdowns than Jones’ 20 with 34 and 24 respectively. In the case of Brown, he came into the league and has 19 career touchdowns to his name, with Evans and Godwin having 21 and 16 respectively in that span. Jones may have been the big acquisition, but since Godwin came into the NFL an argument can absolutely be made that both Evans and Godwin have been more productive.
There is also the issue of Jones’s health. He may be a freak of nature, but his nagging injuries aren’t going away with his age. Make no mistake about it, he’s no spring chicken. As we said, he’ll still get his yards and has an astronomical amount. Speaking of yards though, there is only one receiver in NFL history to amass 1,000 yards in his first seven seasons in the league. That receiver? It’s not Julio Jones, it’s Mike Evans.
Since this news is the hot new thing in the NFL streets, it’s easy to just assume the Titans will have the best receiver duo, especially with that complementary running game. If the surrounding casts are routes anyone is interested in traveling though, it’s safe to assume having Tom Brady instead of Ryan Tannehill will be advantage-Bucs.
It’s unknown how Jones will fare as his career potentially wanes, or how Brown’s will fare as he goes on. The way the production has gone to this point, Evans and Godwin are still the best receiver duo in the NFL, and we didn’t even mention Antonio Brown.