ATLANTA — Julio Jones came through when it counted most.
The Falcons’ star receiver’s 54-yard, catch-and-run touchdown proved to be the difference in the Falcons’ 24-20 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
“My team needed me in that situation and I came through for them,” Jones said on the winning catch.
The fourth-quarter play came after QB Matt Ryan recognized the coverage and got everyone in position to throw the screen to Jones on the right. Jones took the ball, followed great blocks from WR Mohamed Sanu and OT Jake Matthews, and sprinted to the end zone for the deciding score.
In the process, Jones became the franchise’s all-time leading receiver, surpassing Roddy White.
Jones promised he would play much better after struggling some against the Vikings in the opener. He responded with five catches for 106 yards. This is his sixth straight game with a touchdown, which is the longest active streak in the NFL.
Jones’ heroics save the Falcons (1-1) from having to answer questions about a winless start. Instead they can ride that momentum into next week’s game at Indianapolis.
Buy this breakout performance: WR Calvin Ridley had eight catches for 105 yards and a touchdown to give him his second 100-yard game of his young career. Coach Dan Quinn said leading into the game that Ridley had a great week of practice, which set the stage for what was to come. Ridley certainly benefited from Jones drawing bracket coverage from the Eagles. Whenever Ridley gets one-on-one opportunities, he typically has a step on the competition because of his sharp route-running and speed.
Chris Berman and Tom Jackson recap the weekend’s games with extended highlights and analysis. Watch on ESPN+
QB breakdown: Despite the connection with Jones, Ryan would be the first to say he had an off night. He had three interceptions after throwing two in the opener. Ryan simply made some questionable throws. But he came up with the adjustment he needed in the crunch and allowed his playmakers, Jones and Ridley, to make plays. Ryan might have had a 79.6 passer rating, but he’s now 11-1 home openers.
Getting defensive: The Falcons stopping the Eagles short on fourth down to end the game summed up the night for Quinn’s defense. The effort was there all night. Desmond Trufant had two interceptions, a first for his career. Vic Beasley had a sack. Keanu Neal played well in coverage. Grady Jarrett was Grady Jarrett. And the intensity was there all night. Sure, there’s some things that need to be cleaned up, but Quinn is about finishing, and the defense did that.