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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Falcons head coach Dan Quinn breaks down Rhodes vs. Jones matchup

By Matthew Coller

You won’t find a better matchup in the NFL this week than Xavier Rhodes vs. Julio Jones.

The Minnesota Vikings’ shutdown corner has already slowed down several of the NFL’s top receivers. Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown caught just five passes on 11 targets against then Vikings, then the following week star Bucs receiver Mike Evans gained only 67 yards and kicked a garbage can on the sideline in frustration.

In total Rhodes has allowed 6.6 yards per attempt against – a strong number when facing off with opponents’ No. 1’s on a weekly basis.

Jones’s numbers were slightly down from his previous few years until last week, when he caught 12 passes on 15 targets for 253 yards. The big day pushed Atlanta’s star over 1,000 yards receiving for the fourth straight season.

The two players have faced off before and it ended with just five catches for 56 yards.

On a conference call with the Twin Cities media Wednesday, Falcons head coach Dan Quinn broke down the Rhodes vs. Jones matchup.

“Two really big, competitive guys,” Quinn said. “The size of Rhodes, when he plays outside, it’s just a rare guy who has that kind of height and length and strength to play outside. He’s playing another guy on our end who has rare height and length and strength, so truly an example of two guys battling for it.”

In the past, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer has picked his spots for Rhodes to shadow receivers, but this season it’s been a weekly thing, putting his 6-foot-1 corner on Marvin Jones last week vs. the Lions and on Sammy Watkins when the Vikings hosted the L.A. Rams.

Quinn knows that Rhodes will track Jones. He’ll find out the rest of Zimmer’s strategy against the explosive Falcons offense when the two teams match up in Atlanta on Sunday.

“We’ll see as far as the gameplan unfolds for them how they want to go,” the Falcons’ coach said. “Some people match and play man-to-man, some people match and play zone.”

Quinn is no stranger to top cornerbacks. The Falcons have star corner Desmond Trufant and Quinn coached Richard Sherman as the defensive coordinator in Seattle. He’s impressed with Rhodes’ ability to work every part of the field.

“There’s a lot that goes into it,” Quinn said. “You want to know what routes people run in certain spots. And you better have the versatility to do it. In other words, it’s good that Rhodes can play on both sides because if you all the sudden just do it and you’ve mainly been playing on the left side and now all the sudden you have to go play right side, inside, outside, it can be a challenge.”:

”It takes a pretty talented guy to be able to do that,” Quinn added.

The post Falcons head coach Dan Quinn breaks down Rhodes vs. Jones matchup appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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