NFL Week 5
Photo Credit: USA Today

Julio Jones: 19.0

The matchup between the Houston Texans and Atlanta Falcons produced several very high OSM grades. Deshaun Watson had the highest quarterback grade, and two of the top three highest-graded wide receivers participated in the game as well.

Unfortunately, Atlanta’s star wide receiver, Julio Jones, was not one of them. In a game that the Falcons badly needed to win against a weak Texans secondary, Jones had his worst game of the season according to the OSM. On the surface, his three receptions for 42 yards don’t look that terrible. But his advanced metrics were among the worst in the NFL. His OSM grade was just 19.0, the second-lowest among qualifying tight ends and wide receivers graded so far this week, and far lower than his season average of 31.75.

The primary reasons for Jones’ low grade were his average separation on each of his targets and his catch percentage. Across his seven targets, Jones averaged just 1.1 yards, the lowest average of any wide receiver or tight end that has qualified for a grade during NFL Week 5. Unsurprisingly, because he was unable to create any space between himself and the Houston defenders, he caught just 42.86% of his passes, tied for third-worst among the players graded so far.

Fans should hope that Jones can rebound from this poor performance. But let’s also be aware that the Texans game turned into a shootout. One of the primary reasons the Falcons were able to hang in there as long as they did was because of Jones and his presence. 

Therefore, it’s unfair to blame Jones for the loss entirely. Any time your defense allows more than 50 points, a large portion of the blame should go to them. But if Jones had performed up to his elite standard, Atlanta might at least have kept the game close.