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Deion Jones viewed as Atlanta Falcons X-factor


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ByJOHN NEWBY 

58 minutes ago

 

 

Julio Jones and Matt Ryan are the two biggest playmakers on the Atlanta Falcons offense, but are they really the linchpin that holds everything together and leads to success? Not necessarily.

With the offseason in full swing, Pro Football Focus and ESPN are pairing for a series of articles that dive deep into each roster in an effort to determine the best and worst teams. Some pieces look at each team as a whole while others identify key factors that could make an impact early and often. One such article set out to identify the x-factor for each team that will be the determining factor in the 2019 campaign.

For the Atlanta Falcons, PFF avoided naming Jones or Ryan as the X-factor of this team. Instead, the analytics site actually switched to the other side of the ball. In their opinion, linebacker Deion Jones is the man that either makes or breaks the season, and his return to full health in 2019 will be a deciding factor in the quest to win the NFC South.

 

 

If the 2018 season showed us anything, it was just how important Deion Jones is to the Falcons’ defense. In 2017, Jones and the rest of the Falcons linebackers combined to allow a passer rating of just 92.4 on throws into their coverage, and 32.8% of those targets resulted in either a forced incompletion or a defensive stop. With Jones out in 2018, the Falcons’ linebackers allowed a passer rating of 124.3, and only 25.0% of their targets resulted in a forced incompletion or a defensive stop. There is no question that Jones is one of the league’s best coverage linebackers, and his ability to buoy this defense shouldn’t be overlooked.

 

Originally a second-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Jones has been one of the best defenders on a stacked Falcons team. The LSU product has a rare combination of size, speed, and coverage ability, which he uses to make plays on a weekly basis, especially against the New Orleans Saints. In four games against the Saints, Jones has gone 3-1, scoring one of his three career defensive touchdowns, intercepting three passes and returning them for 131 total yards. Both of those latter numbers are personal bests for Jones against any opponent.

 

 

 

 

Over the first two seasons of his career, Jones tallied more than 100 combined tackles and registered three interceptions-per-season. This also includes two return touchdowns during his rookie season.

 

Unfortunately, the Falcons standout linebacker missed 10 games after injuring his foot in week one's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. During this stretch, the Falcons went 4-6 and struggled mightily on third downs. Jones finally returned in time for Atlanta’s Dec. 2 home game against Baltimore, recording a career-high 15 single game tackles and sacking Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson.

In all, Jones played 384 snaps on defense, 35 percent of the Falcons’ total for the year, including every down of their Dec. 9 loss at Green Bay, finishing the season with 53 tackles and two interceptions, including a 41-yard return touchdown in a 40-14 victory over Arizona in Week 15.

When he was on the field, the Falcons were impressive overall, but his absence was felt by Dan Quinn's defense. Without Jones in the lineup, opposing offenses found it increasingly easy to target the middle of the field, getting consistent yardage with a battery of medium yard passing plays that found Atlanta ultimately ranked second worst in the NFL on third down, allowing teams to move the chains 48.7 percent of the time. Only the Bengals were more generous.

That being said, Jones is finally healthy and ready to contribute in his fourth season. If he can return to the levels of production that he displayed in 2016-17, the Falcons defense will be vastly improved. His speed and coverage ability will be essential to slowing down top pass-catching running backs like Christian McCaffrey of the Panthers and Alvin Kamara of the Saints, but if Jones isn't on the field, these NFC South foes will find increased success on screen passes.

If that isn't the definition of an X-factor, it's time to find a new dictionary.

 

 

 

https://247sports.com/Article/Deion-Jones-Falcons-X-factor-PFF--133268433/

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I just hope that Deion can emerge as a strong enough leader to first call out his teammates in private (Beasley? Trufant? Riley?) who are clearly underperforming and costing us big plays and games.  And, then if they still do not respond, I would want him to give them a clear on-the-field reminder they need to improve.

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1 hour ago, Doobs said:

Prob not going to shut them down, he’ll definitely help “contain” them tho. 

That’s more accurate.  But containing them is all I’m asking for. They can catch the ball but then get stopped for a short gain. None of this ripping off 30 yards at a chunk business 

Edited by VTCrunkler
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On 6/29/2019 at 6:04 AM, jlrfalcon said:

I just hope that Deion can emerge as a strong enough leader to first call out his teammates in private (Beasley? Trufant? Riley?) who are clearly underperforming and costing us big plays and games.  And, then if they still do not respond, I would want him to give them a clear on-the-field reminder they need to improve.

How do you know he doesn’t do that already? And no single player is costing us big games. What big game did Tru cost us? What big game did Beasley cost us? It’s 11 guys on defense. One player doesn’t cost a game. If I used your logic Matt Ryan has cost us a lot of big games. It takes a team to win. Not individuals. 

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3 minutes ago, TheFatboi said:

How do you know he doesn’t do that already? And no single player is costing us big games. What big game did Tru cost us? What big game did Beasley cost us? It’s 11 guys on defense. One player doesn’t cost a game. If I used your logic Matt Ryan has cost us a lot of big games. It takes a team to win. Not individuals. 

I've stopped even reading what he says. He post ridiculous things like that and when someone responds to him he never answers. Dude is either just a way too obvious troll or has too much room upstairs.

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3 minutes ago, Yo_Lover said:

I've stopped even reading what he says. He post ridiculous things like that and when someone responds to him he never answers. Dude is either just a way too obvious troll or has too much room upstairs.

I got about 4 on that list. Just completely skip over everything they say. Even the threads they start

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2 minutes ago, Yo_Lover said:

I've stopped even reading what he says. He post ridiculous things like that and when someone responds to him he never answers. Dude is either just a way too obvious troll or has too much room upstairs.

Yea. I mean the only way you can logically say one player cost a game is if he gave up all the big plays and td’s for the entire 60 minutes of the game. Every single player makes at least one mistake in every game. Including Matt Ryan. 

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3 hours ago, TheFatboi said:

Yea. I mean the only way you can logically say one player cost a game is if he gave up all the big plays and td’s for the entire 60 minutes of the game. Every single player makes at least one mistake in every game. Including Matt Ryan. 

 

you know logic has a hard time round these parts.

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7 hours ago, TheFatboi said:

You still gotta pay somebody to keep bodies off Debo so he can do what he does. 

agreed.  just ask ray lewis 

"Back then, I had those two big dudes in front of me, they knocked people off me, I just ran around and knocked fools out," said Lewis

https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bs-xpm-2004-11-06-0411060127-story.html

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On 6/30/2019 at 9:15 PM, VTCrunkler said:

agreed.  just ask ray lewis 

"Back then, I had those two big dudes in front of me, they knocked people off me, I just ran around and knocked fools out," said Lewis

https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bs-xpm-2004-11-06-0411060127-story.html

Grady Jarrett is not that type of DT. He makes plays against the pass, not keeps the linebackers clean against the run.

 

Its the same reason that Aaron Donald, despite probably being the best player in football, had a team with terrible run defense last year.

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Just now, FalconAge said:

Grady Jarrett is not that type of DT. He makes plays against the pass, not keeps the linebackers clean against the run.

 

Its the same reason that Aaron Donald, despite probably being the best player in football, had a team with terrible run defense last year.

heres to hoping Hags or someone else can keep debo clean so he can do what he does..

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