Julio Who? #RhodesClosed

Minnesota Vikings 14, Atlanta Falcons 9. Game Ball: Xavier Rhodes.

I don’t know if Mike Zimmer gave out a game ball after Sunday’s victory in Atlanta, but if he did, it better have gone to Rhodes. Case Keenum has gotten his fair share of acknowledgement. #SkolNation’s lockdown corner was matched up across from Julio Jones almost the entire game. The All Pro WR finished the contest with a measly 2 catches for 24 yards.

Last Sunday, Julio went absolutely ballistic. His 253 yards vs. Tampa bay is the highest single game performance in the NFL this season. Pro Football Focus had him as their second ranked WR coming into the Minnesota matchup. That seems fully accurate too. Jones has one serious nagging problem, though. Xavier Rhodes.

Same shit, different day. The last time these two alpha’s squared off was in 2015. During that battle, Xavier held Julio to 56 yards and 0 TDs. That performance was the second lowest for the Alabama product that season. As for his lowest this year, that came Sunday. Matt Ryan was 2/6 when throwing in Jones’ direction.

Did everyone hear the back and forth between Tony Romo and Deion Sanders from a few weeks ago? In case you missed it, here is Prime to remind you:

Sanders put him in a blender, but Romo wasn’t lying. Deion is far from the only corner who had a reputation of shying away from contact. That’s not the case with Number 29. That tackle he came up and made on the Falcon’s last drive was euphoric. It doesn’t matter if it’s air or ground. It’s #RhodesClosed.

On top of shutting down the Falcons WR, Rhodes has single-handedly saved MN’s 2013 draft class. A draft in which the Viking’s had three first round picks. Sunday’s MVP was one of those three. The other two didn’t exactly pan out. After a sub-par tenure in Purple, Cordarrelle Patterson is now with the Raiders and Shariff Floyd may never see the football field again due to injuries. But, if you can get one player in the first round who turns out like Xavier Rhodes, that was a 1st round victory. I don’t care how many of the other picks failed.

Today’s performance put Xavier’s name in the mouths of NFL fans across the nation. He owns Julio. Speaking of owning someone, we play Carolina next. What Rhodes is to Jones, Mike Zimmer is to Cam Newton. Much like Disney owns ESPN or PJ Fleck owns “Row The Boat”, Zimmer owns Cam Newton. I expect to see this Cam Newton after the game. #SKOL

 

Johnny Minnesota @mnsportsnstuff
Minnesota Sports Fan MinnesotaSportsFan.com

Photo: Vikings.com