Atlanta Falcons star WR Julio Jones could have a huge fantasy day today if New York Jets CB Antonio Cromartie ends up covering him and continues to struggle this season. Cromartie was superb filling in for the injured Darrelle Revis for the majority of the 2012 season, and Cromartie re-established himself as one of the league’s top corners. He was able to effectively shut down an opponent’s top receiver by shadowing them, but Cro hasn’t replicated that success this season. He’s struggled mightily, and that’s been a huge impediment on a Jets defense that sorely needs Cromartie to step it up again. I mean, he couldn’t even stop speedster Nate Washington last week, but I also can’t help but feel that he is due for a turnaround.
That will need to happen tonight, as Antonio Cromartie and the New York Jets will meet a difficult matchup in Julio Jones and the Atlanta Falcons. Yesterday morning, I wrote about how Cromartie is one of four players on the Jets to watch very closely tonight, and I wrote that I would be “very surprised” if the Jets decided not to shadow Julio Jones with Cromartie.
It sounds like that will be the case, as Jones stated that he is preparing to be covered one-on-one by the Jets top CB, who is clearly looking for a statement game. Per ESPN NFL Nation’s Vaughn McClure, Jones praised Cromartie as a “very athletic, long, rangy corner” with “great speed”. Jones is clearly the Falcons top receiving threat right now, and he has been arguably the best WR in the league this season with 481 receiving yards for a whopping average of 120 receiving yards per game. The big, explosive superstar is always a threat to make a big play, and Cromartie and the Jets safeties will have to watch out for that. Although he is dealing with a knee injury, it’s not going to affect him too much, and he’s clearly less hobbled than Roddy White, who suffered a setback on his ankle injury but is fully expected to play.