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NFL Atlanta Falcons

Julio Jones Comes Up Huge For Atlanta Falcons In Win Over St Louis Rams

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

This was supposed to be the year that Julio Jones stepped up for the Atlanta Falcons and cemented himself as one of the premier receivers in the NFL. Clearly, he got the memo.

Jones was the most explosive player on the field this week when the Falcons held off a pesky St. Louis Rams team. With 11 receptions for 182 yards and a touchdown, he was the catalyst for a Falcons passing attack that led the team to the win. He made plays all over the field, including an electric 81-yard touchdown catch late in the first quarter.

It looked like a panic move when the Falcons traded so much to move up and draft him a couple of years ago. They had a guy they wanted to groom into a franchise quarterback in Matt Ryan, but they needed an elite receiver for him to reach that potential.

Sure, Jones had shown all the ability in the world when he was lighting up SEC defenses at Alabama, but he wasn’t consistent enough to be considered someone who could put a team on his back and lead them to wins at the NFL level.

Well, Jones proved that and then some this week. He was dominant from the very beginning of the game, especially in a week when the team needed him the most. Not only was Roddy White hobbled coming into the game, but the running game didn’t hold up their end of the bargain either, with only 36 yards on the ground.

In the end, the lack of a rushing attack or complimentary receivers didn’t matter. Jones was the playmaker the Falcons need him to be. If he and Ryan can continue to dominate games through the air, Atlanta will once again be at the top of the NFC all year long.

Ben Sullivan is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bensullivan52, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to you network on Google.

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