Officially, Falcons receiver Julio Jones was listed as questionable for today’s game with a hamstring injury. But there was no question about it once the game started: Jones is just fine.
Actually, Jones is better than fine. He was the best player on the field, catching 11 passes for 182 yards and a touchdown as the Falcons beat the Rams 31-24.
Jones showed off his blazing speed in the first quarter on an 81-yard touchdown, but he was the most important player in the Falcons’ offense even aside from that play. All day long, Jones was the man for Atlanta.
The Falcons did it without getting much out of their running game, as Steven Jackson left with a thigh bruise suffered while scoring a touchdown on his third carry, and Jacquizz Rodgers couldn’t get anything going in Jackson’s place. But when you’ve got a quarterback like Matt Ryan throwing to a receiving corps with Jones, Roddy White, Hugh Douglas and Tony Gonzalez, your offense is going to be in good shape.
The Rams’ offense had its moments, including rookie Tavon Austin scoring the first two touchdowns of his career, but they didn’t move the ball consistently. Both teams are now 1-1, but the Falcons looked like contenders, while the Rams looked like a young team with a long way to go.