The Atlanta Falcons are preparing for another showdown with the Carolina Panthers as they hope for different results in Round 2. The first game between the two teams saw the Falcons be completely shut out. However, the team is coming off a win in which they displayed some offensive momentum. Julio Jones found the endzone as he prepares for another dual with Josh Norman.
The Carolina Panthers cornerback has found himself in the news recently as he and Odell Beckham Jr certainly put a battle on display in Week 15. The first matchup between Jones and Norman saw the receiver get just seven catches for 88 yards while Matt Ryan and the team struggled with turnovers. Jones would like different results this time as Roddy White makes it clear the Carolina Panthers cornerback is not elite like many believe he is.
"I don't believe he's a tough guy," White said, via ESPN.com. "When you say you're out there talking, I don't pay attention to guys like that. I just don't think he's a tough guy. Their defense is good. He ain't over there just sitting there locking people up. They don't play defense like that. That's not how they play football."
Considering Norman will be paired with Jones in Week 16, the receiver likely will not see much of the cornerback. Ryan would certainly love to take advantage of that and let the veteran have a big game as a result. Jones made sure to give credit where credit is due. While admitting that he was unhappy with the amount of trash talking Norman and the Panthers did in their first game against one another, Jones made sure to say the cornerback is a good football player.
"Everybody just keeps talking about Josh Norman, Josh Norman," Jones said, vi ESPN.com. "He's a good football player. I don't think he's great yet, but he's a good football player."
The Falcons have some momentum. It is not much, but it is more than they had during their six-game losing streak. The team broke their touchdown drought as both Jones and Devonta Freeman found the endzone. There are still plenty of issues highlighting the unit as Jacob Tamme needs to get more involved while Nick Williams and Justin Hardy aim for more playing time. The drop off between Jones and the rest of the team was steep as only four players actually caught passes from Ryan. That will not cut it against the Panthers who can make Atlanta's day very long with their defense. If Ryan cannot do a better job of getting more people involved, Jones better hope he wins the battle with Norman to get some points on the board.