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Will Vontae Davis Be Shadowing Atlanta's Julio Jones On Sunday?

Intro: One of the biggest individual matchups on Sunday afternoon in Atlanta could come from Colts cornerback Vontae Davis across from Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones.


INDIANAPOLIS – Vontae Davis is going to need to pack his shadow with him to Atlanta this weekend.

After not being deployed one-on-one, opposite an opposing wide receiver, since Week One of the season, Davis will find himself back in that role on Sunday.

Atlanta's Julio Jones is the reason why.

At 6-3 and 220 pounds, Jones brings a rare combination of prototypical size and game-breaking speed to the receiver position.

"He can do everything," Davis says of Jones. "He's fast, physical. He's a freak of nature. There's nothing he can't do.

"You've got to watch (film) of a guy like that 24/7. You should be dreaming about him. I should be having dreams about him. He's just that good of a player."

Through nine games this season, Jones is dominating the NFL.

He ranks first in receiving yards per game (114.3), receptions per game (8.8) and receptions (80). Jones is second in the NFL receiving yards (1,029), receptions for first downs (50), targets (119) and yards after catch (392).

Jones is on pace to challenge league records for single season receptions and receiving yards.

"Julio Jones is having a phenomenal, phenomenal season---MVP numbers right now," Chuck Pagano said earlier this week.

A look back at highlights from Vontae's 2014 season!

That brings up the dilemma the Colts defensive staff faces this weekend.

Using Davis to follow other team's top wide receivers was something that came to fruition this offseason for the Colts staff.

The Colts used their Pro Bowler cornerback back in Week One to hold Buffalo's Sammy Watkins to a goose egg (zero catches in three targets).

Since then, we haven't seen Davis exclusively isolated one-on-one for a couple of reasons.

Outside of DeAndre Hopkins and Houston in Week Five (a Thursday night game where Davis was clearly hampered by an ankle injury) there hasn't been the clear-cut No. 1 wide receiver to warrant that type of attention.

Jones is now the exception.

With Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown and Hopkins (again) waiting December, we are likely to see Davis in more shadow type roles down the stretch.

For Week 11, the matchup nightmare for the Colts comes in the form of a freakish wide receiver.

"We are going to have to do a great job to make sure that we take care of (Jones), try to make it really, really difficult for (quarterback Matt Ryan) to even find him in the pass game, or for (Jones) to have free access up the field," Pagano said.

"We have to disrupt the timing and the rhythm of the pass game and try to get hands on him at the line of scrimmage and make it very, very difficult."

Nobody has stopped Jones yet.

Can Davis do it?

"We're going to find out," Pagano says.

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