Today, we continue our Falcons 50 countdown with our mini-series written by staff writer Eric Robinson. Yesterday, Eric gave us his honorable mentions. Today, we move onto Julio Jones’ fifth best game.
We kick off the countdown of Julio Jones’s Top 5 performances with a gem.
September 15, 2013 vs. St. Louis Rams – 11 catches, 182 yards, 1 TD
After a tough opener on the road against the Saints that resulted in a loss, the Falcons hosted the Rams in the home opener.
In a game that was surrounded by pre-game headlines of RB Steven Jackson playing against his former team, Jones stepped into the spotlight and took the game upon himself.
The haunted injury bug bit the team early in the game as Jackson, LB Sean Weatherspoon, DE Kroy Biermann, CB Asante Samuel, and FB Bradie Ewing all went down with injuries before the pep talk at halftime.
While shorthanded and with backs against the wall, Matt Ryan leaned on his star receiver and Julio answered. The QB-WR combo created poetry in motion.
Late in the first quarter, Ryan connected with his wideout as Jones escaped the grasp of CB Janoris Jenkins and displayed his lightning speed on the way to an 81-yard score to put the Falcons up 14-0.
Sep 15, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) straight arms St. Louis Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan (31) during the second half at Georgia Dome. The Falcons defeated the Rams 31-24. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Late in the game, Ryan needed the help of his big time receiver as Julio hauled in catches of 22 yards and 18 yards on the game clinching drive that ended in a Jason Snelling touchdown run.
What made this game even more impressive for Jones was the fact that his counterpart, WR Roddy White was dealing with a high ankle sprain which limited him tremendously.
With that injury, all the defense’s attention was on stopping Julio. As Falcons fans are probably aware of at this point, stopping Julio Jones is a task that requires a lot more action and a little less talk.
Up to this point, the 182 yards posted by Jones was tied for a career-high.