9 catches for 180 yards and two touchdowns. That line sums up what both Julio Jones of the Atlanta Falcons and Chris Hogan of the New England Patriots did in their respective conference championship games. Monster days at the office. Stat twins if you will.
That is basically where the similarities end.
Julio Jones is without a doubt a top 5 WR in the NFL. IMO he's #2 after Antonio Brown. The dude is absolute freak. #1 WR prospect in the nation going into college. Won a National Title at Alabama. The only Alabama offensive player of the Nick Saban era of Alabama to became a super star in the NFL. #6 overall draft pick. 4 time Pro Bowler. 2 time First-Team All Pro. Nearly 500 catches for almost 7,500 yards in his career. He's on his way to the Hall of Fame at this pace. It's not a huge surprise when superstars like him have games like this on the biggest stage.
This was Julio Jones in college.
Chris Hogan on the other hand was undrafted, and has been cut by three different teams. After playing 3 seasons with the Buffalo Bills the Patriots signed up to a 3 year 12 million contract. Given how his career arc was going at the time it was very surprising signing. He had under 1000 receiving yards in his NFL career. I can't lie I hated the signing when it happened. Another short white receiver on the Patriots. Stop be if you've heard that one before. It ended up being a great signing. Hogan lead the league in yards per catch with 17.9 per grab. But the fact he's even in the NFL is remarkable. Hogan played 1 year of college football at the football factory Monmouth University. This is what Chris Hogan was doing for most of his college days.
That's right, Hogan was a lacrosse player at Penn State. We just had a lax bro put up the same stat line in a conference championship game as Julio Jones. Think about how insane that is? Literally the exact same line. 9 for 180 and 2 TDs. I've said it before, I'm not a math guy, but wow what are the odds of that happening? I would love to know what that bet pays off. What's even crazier is that in this one game Hogan had more yards (180) than he did in his entire college career (147).
In the biggest game of both of their careers these two WR showed the fuck out for 9 grabs 180 yards and two trips to the end zone. Now they'll be facing off in the Super Bowl. That's the beautiful thing about sports. It doesn't matter who you are. Any day can be your day. Sometimes it's an All-Pro doing all All-Pro things, other times it's a dude who spent his college years crushing natty lights sniping ducks with his morning spoon.
Like Kevin Garnett said, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.