The New England Patriots will have their hands full trying to cover Julio Jones in Super Bowl 51 on Sunday.
Jones hauled in nine catches for 180 yards (two touchdowns) against the Packers, and did so dealing with a turf toe injury. Many believe he’s the best receiver in the NFL right now, as his mix of size and explosiveness allows him to line up all over the field and beat teams many different ways.
The Falcons All-Pro receiver finished the season with 83 catches for 1,409 yards, and did so even with fighting through injuries during some of the year.
Jones has had some epic battles with some of the league’s best cornerbacks over the years, and that includes going up against Josh Norman. Norman spoke to Bleacher Report’s Tyler Dunne on Friday, and provided some interesting thoughts about what covering Jones feels feels like.
“The sweet sensation of death without dying,” Norman said. “You’re trapped in time. A split second feels like a lifetime in the moment of a play. So for me, it was like I was trapped in that butterfly effect. People say that they go through this when they know they’re about to have an accident. They think about everything within that moment. That is where we were at. We were in that moment for what seemed like the entire game.
“It’s like watching ‘300.’ The sweetest thing to them in the ultimate battle is a sweet death. The sweetest thing to me in an ultimate battle is a Julio Jones. He pushes our level to a point where it’s like being in Super Saiyan range. You elevate from Super Saiyan 3 to Super Saiyan 4. You know what I’m saying? Like a Goku or something.”
Whether it’s Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan or Eric Rowe, it’s clear the Patriots will have their hands full on Sunday. Bill Belichick does a great job of taking away his opposition’s best offensive weapon, but Jones is in a league of his own, and has been unstoppable at times.