Does Julio Jones’ Huge Game Against the Packers Mean Anything Going Forward?

Julio Jones vs. Green Bay Packers

Against the Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football the Green Bay Packers’ defense gave up the 18th most receiving yards to a single player in a single game in NFL history to Julio Jones (259). This isn’t the first time a player has torched the Packers under Dom Capers. The game being broadcasted to a national audience has led many to begin discussing if this previously (and recently) highly acclaimed Packers team already has their fate sealed with another early playoff exit.

This post takes a look at previous games in which players have had monster games against the Packers’ defense under Dom Capers as well as the opponents on the receiving end of the best receiving performances of all time and try to see if one game really does spell doom for the 2014 Green Bay Packers.

This is the 6th season for the Packers with Dom Capers commanding the defense. Capers has taken a lot of heat for the big games that the Packers have given up to quarterbacks and receivers alike and has led many to question on whether he can get it done at the end of the day. The curious thing is that up until the Packers gave up 30 2nd half points to Atlanta many had been excited and praising what the Packers defense had done the previous four and a half games.

Julio Jones put up 259 receiving yards Monday night and the Packers had no answer for him. However, the question is, does that matter? It’s frustrating to watch as a fan as your team seemingly cannot stop one player, but to me yards are yards and it really doesn’t matter who gets them. What most people are going to focus on though are the 259 yards and 30 second half points.

What I’m going to focus on is two very good quarters of football and two very bad quarters of defense that ended up in a Packers win. Looking to the future, does two quarters of bad defense mean that we will see Colin Kaepernick go for 444 total yards to knock the Packers out of the playoffs in January again? Lets take a look.

In the five and a half seasons under Dom Capers there have been eight regular season games in which a player has either thrown for 400 yards (twice 500) or had 200 receiving yards against the Green Bay Packers (vs the Detroit Lions on New Years Day in 2012 and opening day in 2013 against the 49ers saw both).

There have also been two playoff games that ended the season for the Packers in which the defense had very bad showings giving up 379 passing yards and 5 touchdowns to Kurt Warner and the previously mentioned 444 total yards to Colin Kaepernick. Giving up huge statistical games like that typically make people believe that the Packers, or any team really, have no chance of winning that game.

However, after Monday night the Packers have improved to a record of 5 wins and 3 losses in games where they give up 400 passing yards or 200 receiving yards and obviously 0-2 in the two playoff games. Not nearly the death sentence that some envision. In fact only one of those ten games was decided by more than one score (the playoff game against San Francisco two years ago). Even when the defense is getting gashed by a single player, Rodgers and the offense are able to keep the Packers in it. A .500 record and only one loss by more than one score in the defense’s worst games is pretty impressive.

 Julio Jones’ 259 receiving yards is a lot of receiving yards. There have only been 17 better single game performances receiving the ball in NFL history. Maybe looking at how other teams fared the season they gave up some of the top receiving performances in NFL history can help shed some light on the future of this Packers season.

Looking at the top 30 receiving performances in NFL history reveals some interesting statistics. If you’re like me you will assume that the teams that have a receiver that puts up at least 246 receiving yards will win that game. That would make you correct.

Putting up 246+ receiving yards in the NFL has led to a winning percentage of 70 percent (good for a record of 21-7-2). That’s no surprise. However what is a surprise is that of the top 8 receiving performances, only one came against a team that finished the season below .500 (the 1950 Baltimore Colts who finished 1-11). Yes, seven of the top eight receiving performances in NFL history have come against teams that finished the season at or above .500. In fact only 14 of the 30 games were against teams that finished the season below .500.

Looking at how those teams fared in terms of the playoffs doesn’t shed any negative light on the Packers’ chances either. Assuming the Packers make the playoffs this season, 6 of the 30 teams on this list will have made the playoffs, good for 20 percent of the teams. That’s not too bad considering a handful of these games came in seasons where there were no playoffs, just championships.

No team that has given up at least 246 receiving yards in an NFL game has lost in the first round of the playoffs that season. Two teams lost in their conference championship games, one lost in the Super Bowl, and one of them (the 2000 Baltimore Ravens who that season beat the Jaguars despite giving up 291 receiving yards to Jimmy Smith) even won the Super Bowl.

Much like the Green Bay Packers with Dom Capers as a defensive coordinator the majority of these 30 games were decided by one score or less. In total 77 percent of the top receiving games in NFL history were decided by one score or less. An odd stat indeed for these huge single game offensive outbursts, especially considering over the last 20 years only 49 percent of games have been decided by one score or less.

Does any of this mean that Packers will win the Super Bowl this season? No, of course not. But it does show that it has happened before and more than one very good team has had these games happen to them before. The Packers have overcome these games before. If you’re going to be in a game where one player is having a monster statistical game through the air, typically it will end up as a close game and if you are going to be in a close, high scoring game, it’s nice to have Aaron Rodgers on your side.


Mike Reuter lives in the Twin Cities and is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas. He is a mobile tech enthusiast, a 19 year Gopher Football season ticket holder and a huge Packers fan. Mike is a writer with and you can follow him on twitter at @uofmike.


9 thoughts on “Does Julio Jones’ Huge Game Against the Packers Mean Anything Going Forward?

  1. As I said in an earlier post, look at what Atlanta did to the Cardinals and their vaunted defense a week ago. They put up 500 yards of offense and 30 points. Jones had 10 catches for 180 yards. Ryan and Jones are hot right now. The Packers still beat the hot team so I quote the Packer quarter back, “R-E-L-A-X”.

  2. Good insight. All we have to do is “Just Win”. rather than lamenting an ALMOST comeback lets just enjoy the ride.

  3. If Julio wouldn’t have bruised his vagina he would’ve gone well over 300 yards. An elite offense can hide a below average defense. Our defense when hitting on all 8 cylinders is slightly above average. And when its that time of the month our defense is honestly one of the worst in the league. With our elite offense, all we need out of our defense is average to slightly above average. If the defense can get through their menstrual cramps and play slightly above average, we could be headed to the superbowl…

  4. Julio Jones is a WR who is expected to have these types of games,perhaps not to high numbers vs the Packers but still expected.

    I’m not worried about a Sammy Watkins doing such either this week,I’m concerned as to how we perform offensively vs a defense type we’ve had little success against without counting in the playing scared aspect against such….Seattle week one.

  5. I can see that Dom Capers is a brilliant strategist. In the Atlanta game, DC told the secondary to ease off in the second half and let one receiver have a huge night. He’ll do the same in second half of the Bills’ game; DC will allow Watkins a huge game. He’ll do that for Bucs game in scond half too. It is a setup, because DC will have 3 games of film to entice the Detroit Lions into thinking how bad the Packers secondary APPEARS to get in the second half. But DC simply told the secondary to intentionally give up big plays to one receiver so Detroit will think Megatron, Megatron, Megatron in its finale. Yes, they’ll game plan for Megatron, and he’ll lick his chops to break the all time receiver record; thinking 350 yards no problem. But that is when DC will tell the packers secondary to play serious in the second half, and they’ll have Detroit in the trap. Hyde, Hayward and Shields will stop faking missed interceptions, and start snapping them all around Megatron, and Stafford won’t know what happened in his 4 INT second half…and Detroit is done again by Dom’s sneakiness.

    1. You are giving Dom too much credit. He can’t think that far ahead. I like your theory however…

      1. I think it is you that can not think that much ahead. This opinion I was considering from the record 5-3 and some interesting plays. I also considering that we see lot of new stuff against Patriots on offensive side. I bet that opponents will see hell of the offense & and amazing D in the play off… Mean green scoring machine will do the job. The main idea is to stay health as long as possible and to give as less as possible schemes and plays on film for opponents to study. Team was amazing in achieving that goal. I suppose we would lose Patriots if 1st seed is not in question! And, as it looks likely now, it may come out that Seattle will not be in the postseason. Everything is depend on that game against Arizona. Arizona play best football against team that play firm and good defense, but it is much lighter when team has profiled passing attack, like Falcons do…

  6. In the end, this team will go as far as its defense allows it. That is because a team is only as strong as its weakest link. W/o AROD, we would not be a playoff team. With him we are. The question remains, can we win a post-season game with this defense. If so, can we win two? And lastly, can we win three. I’d say its highly doubtful that we win more than one. But that is only speculation. The players get to prove what this steam can achieve in the end. I didn’t see the last SB coming but that team had a much better defense. This team may be better offensively. Right now it looks like the showdown will be us vs SEA but DAL could be tough for us and so could Philly if Sanchez were to have a good game. Nothing to do but sit back, RELAX and enjoy it for as long as it lasts.

    1. Do the Packers have great defense? No, actually hell no, but they have a defense that’s good enough. This week against Buffalo will show us a lot. Playing Seattle in week one, well no one was going to win on that night in Seattle, especially the first week of the season raising a Championship Banner. They lost in week 3 after giving the Lions 9 points and looking terrible on offense. My point to all this is the Packers offense is based on timing and reads. Since the start of the 2012 season the Packers have started the seasons slow offensively, takes them a while to get going. This year was no different not to mention they played 2 really good defenses, at two really LOUD venues, starting a rookie Center who played in the last preseason game.
      The Packers aren’t a defense to hold teams to 3 points week in and week out, they don’t need to be. Most times this season the Packers have held teams to about 200 to 250 yards through 3 quarters of play, give up 150 to 200 yards in the 4th quarter in garbage time and a few meaningless scores. I’ll take that all day long as long as they keep winning which they have.

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