ATLANTA – No. 11 stole the show early here on Sunday, but maybe not the one most expected.
Titans rookie A.J. Brown set the tone by scoring the game’s first touchdown in a 24-10 win over the Falcons, and he followed that up with another touchdown in the victory.
The team’s second-round pick of the NFL Draft left Mercedes-Benz Stadium with a pair of No.11 jerseys on Sunday – his own, and one belonging to Falcons receiver Julio Jones, his idol.
After the game, Brown dished out credit to those around him, from quarterback Marcus Mariota to fellow receiver Corey Davis.
He also showed respect for Jones, a six-time Pro Bowler that Brown said he models his game after. The two players talked after the game, and swapped jerseys. Brown said he picked No.11 in the NFL because of Jones after wearing No.1 at Ole Miss.
“That’s my big bro,” Brown said of Jones. “He taught me everything I know, and he don’t even know it. I think so much of how he plays. I was watching him today, trying to steal something to put in my bag. He is a great one and one day I want to be like him. I want to be better than him.”
Brown had three catches for 94 yards and the two touchdowns against the Falcons. He scored on a 55-yard catch after making a grab in the middle of the field and racing past defenders. Brown also had an 11-yard touchdown catch in the game, which gave the Titans a lead they never relinquished.
“I want to make that the standard,” Brown said. “I tell myself I haven’t done anything yet. I have to keep my head down and keep working.”
Brown’s performance came on a day when Mariota completed 18-of-27 passes for 227 yards and three touchdowns. Davis led the Tians with five catches, and he had 91 receiving yards and a 23-yard touchdown catch of his own.
The Titans defense did a solid job vs. Jones, who had just four catches for 52 yards for the Falcons. In the contest, Jones reached a significant milestone – he became the fastest receiver to reach 11,000 receiving yards for his career. Earlier this season, Jones also became the all-time leading receiver in Falcons franchise history.
“(Julio) told me just keep playing, keep balling, keep getting open,” Brown said. “He said, “Don’t let it be just one week, be consistent. You have to be reliable in this league.’
“It means the world to me, talking to him.”