Julian Edelman made a ludicrous catch last night, going to the ground to keep the ball while being tackled by three Falcons defenders, but he wasn’t the only receiver on the field making impossible catches when his team needed them most.
The Falcons blew the game, but that doesn’t change the fact that grown-ass man Julio Jones sure as hell pulled his weight. They’ll be mostly forgotten by history because losers don’t get to decide what gets remembered, but Jones had two catches last night that perfectly captured what an absurdity he is.
The first was a toe-drag sideline catch that was so perfect it makes this GIF look like a piece of CGI:
And then there was a the big one, on which Jones reached to an impossible height to snatch the ball before tapping both toes in bounds. This is the catch that would have been remembered as one of the best in Super Bowl history if Kyle Shanahan had just run the damn ball:
Try to comprehend the abdominal strength required to pull your leg down from near-split while falling to the ground. If any of us tried to do that, we’d be left multiple torn muscles.
Jones was only targeted four times by Matt Ryan, and the Falcons’ other five receivers each had three balls thrown to them. Jones did everything he possibly could with those four targets, finishing the game with four receptions for 87 yards. His final line was eerily similar to Edelman’s—both receivers had 87 yards and a longest catch of 27 yards. Count it as a cruel reminder of just how close those two came to occupying opposite places in history this morning. One will go on to star in sappy Super Bowl retrospectives for years to come, and the other will continue to be a superstar who deserved better.