New Orleans Saints: Michael Thomas is objectively better than Julio Jones

The New Orleans Saints currently have the best wide receiver in the league in Michael Thomas, which is upsetting to the Saints’ biggest rivals.

Michael Thomas officially set the new NFL record for receptions in a season in the New Orleans Saints‘ Week 16 win over the Tennessee Titans. Thomas hauled in 12 receptions and now stands at 145 for the season, breaking Marvin Harrison‘s record of 143 receptions in a single season.

Thomas is not just going to break the record, he is going to fly well past it. If he keeps up his average per game (which is 9.6, we’ll round up to 10) then he will have finished with 155 receptions on the season, 12 more than the previous all-time record.

That is absolutely incredible and what is also incredible is that he is bound to pass 1,700 receiving yards on the season with a chance of pass 1,800 receiving yards. He is 112 receiving yards away from reaching 1,800 and his average yards per game this season is 112.5.

Thomas would be just the fifth receiver in NFL history to cross over the 1,800-yard mark, joining Antonio Brown, Jerry Rice, Julio Jones and Calvin Johnson. With the record receptions as well, Thomas’ 2019 season could go down as the best season for a receiver in NFL history.

In fact, even if he has only one reception and its a touchdown in Week 17, he will become the first wide receiver ever to have 10 receiving touchdowns, 130 receptions and 1,600 yards. The crazy part is that he could finish with 10 receiving touchdowns, 150 receptions and 1,800 yards.

Despite literally putting together a record-setting season, fans of the rivaled Atlanta Falcons cannot accept the fact that Michael Thomas is a better wide receiver than Julio Jones. This article was inspired by a Twitter debate we had with our FanSided sister account, Blogging Dirty, regarding who is the superior wide receiver.

We have nothing but respect for our peers but the stance that Jones is better than Thomas is dated.

Not only is Thomas set to have a record-setting year this season, but he has consistently been better than Jones the last three seasons. Our peers cited that Thomas is having just one All-Pro season when Jones has been more consistent.

First of all, this will be Thomas’ second straight All-Pro season, which already ties Julio Jones’ career mark despite Jones getting a five-year head start. The numbers are the clinching factor in this debate.

Over the last three seasons, Thomas has 374 receptions, 4,338 yards, 23 touchdowns and a 79.2 catch percentage. Jones, on the other hand, has 293 receptions, 4,437 yards, 17 touchdowns and a 63.4 catch percentage.

Jones has him beat in yards — by 99 — but has 81 fewer receptions, seven fewer touchdowns and a catch percentage that is 18.8 percent worse. Thomas has 27.6 percent more receptions and 35.3 percent more touchdowns than Jones. That’s a lot.

Oh and in that span, Thomas only has 10 more targets than Jones, so you cannot even make the argument that Thomas is simply used more. This season that can be true, but in a wider sample size (which is more telling), it simply does not hold up.

Then there is the argument that Jones has more career success, which is true. Michael Thomas has not had five straight (going on six) 1,400-receiving yard seasons like Julio Jones has. In fact, Michael Thomas has not even played five seasons!

That argument is so ridiculous as Thomas has not even gotten the chance to play enough to set that mark. Imagine using the same argument when breaking down Philip Rivers versus Patrick Mahomes. That logic would be that Mahomes is worse than Rivers because he does not have as many consecutive 4,000-passing yard seasons.

Oh, and on top of that, Thomas has had two straight 1,400 receiving yard seasons, accomplishing it in his third and fourth season. Jones did not do it until his fourth season, so there is a good chance that by year nine, which is what Jones is in, that Thomas has seven consecutive 1,400-yard seasons.

When you compare a nine-year career resume with a four-year career resume, of course, Jones is going to look better. He has literally played in twice as many games.

However, when we remain in the present as the calendar turns to 2020, the case for Jones still being the better receiver is asinine. He has not been an All-Pro since Thomas’ rookie season in 2016, Thomas will be a two-time All-Pro in that span once the year is over.

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Julio Jones is a great wide receiver that will go down as one of the best of all-time and maybe he does go down as a better receiver all-time is Thomas cannot piece together an entire career. However, right now, without making assumptions, the New Orleans Saints undoubtedly have the better receiver.

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