clear
Monday August 31st, 2015 11:23AM

Jones has huge day, Falcons hold off Rams 31-24

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
ATLANTA -- One after another, a steady line of injured players made their way to the Falcons locker room.

Fortunately for Atlanta, Julio Jones and Matt Ryan were not among them.

Jones hauled in 11 passes for 182 yards, including an 81-yard touchdown, and the Atlanta Falcons held on for their first win of the season, 31-24 over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.

Ryan threw for 374 yards and two scores despite taking quite a beating behind the Falcons' shaky offense line. Jason Snelling clinched it for the Falcons (1-1) with an 11-yard touchdown run with 6:18 remaining - Atlanta's longest play of the day on the ground.

The Rams (1-1) fell behind 21-0 when Osi Umenyiora returned an interception 68 yards for a touchdown early in the second quarter. Atlanta led 24-3 at halftime before St Louis fought back on a pair of short touchdown passes by Sam Bradford.

Bradford finished with 352 yards and three TDs.

Jones matched the best performance of his career; he also put up 182 yards receiving in last season's NFC championship game.

Atlanta turned in the drive it needed to clinch it, throwing on eight straight plays before Snelling's TD run. St. Louis scored again with 2:09 left when Bradford connected with Tavon Austin for their second scoring play of the game. But the Falcons got the one first down required to run out the clock.

There were plenty of flaws in Atlanta's performance - hardly any running game, a lack of protection for Ryan, not much pressure on Bradford - but the Falcons will take it considering all the players who went down.

Steven Jackson, facing the team he played for the last nine years, hauled in an 8-yard touchdown pass to cap Atlanta's first possession, but the celebration was short-lived.

Jackson hobbled off with an injured thigh and didn't return.

He had a lot of company in the training room.

Fullback Bradie Ewing also went down on the opening drive with a shoulder injury. Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (foot), defensive end Kroy Biermann (right ankle) and cornerback Asante Samuel (thigh) were done by halftime.

Still, the Falcons pulled out a victory they absolutely had to have if they wanted to show they are a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

After Jackson's TD put the Falcons up 7-0, Jones beat Janoris Jenkins in man-to-man coverage and was gone for the longest reception of his career. Umenyiora extended the lead when he picked off a deflected pass and showed surprising speed for the first TD of his 11-year career. He then staggered to the bench and grabbed an oxygen mask.

The Rams began really teeing off on Ryan in the second half, and the Falcons offense bogged down. Austin hauled in a 6-yard scoring pass from Bradford late in the third, and Austin Pettis' 3-yard TD catch made it 24-17 with more than 12 minutes remaining.

Atlanta turned to Jones to clinch it. He hauled in a short pass and broke free on a 22-yard play. Then, on third-and-3 at the Rams 40, Ryan rolled to his left away from pressure and lobbed a pass that Jones leaped up to grab for an 18-yard gain.

Three players later, Snelling ran it in.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Bartus, Icemen shuts out Gwinnett
Garrett Bartus pitched a 42 save shutout, as the Evansville IceMen topped the Gwinnett Gladiators on a New year
10:23PM ( 1 year ago )
Gator Bowl Preview Capsule
A rematch of last year's Capital One Bowl, which Georgia won 45-31 in Orlando.
8:52PM ( 1 year ago )
Millsap's 34 leads Hawks past Celtics
Paul Millsap had season highs with 34 points and 15 rebounds as the Hawks rallied from an 18-point deficit for a 92-91 win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday afternoon.
7:44PM ( 1 year ago )
Sports
Falcons fire offensive, defensive line coaches
The Atlanta Falcons have fired defensive line coach Ray Hamilton and offensive line coaches Pat Hill and Paul Dunn.
7:02PM ( 1 year ago )
Best, worst of Falcons' 4-12 season
Best Game: They'd been eliminated from playoff contention previous week vs. New Orleans, but the Falcons showed some heart with Dec. 1 overtime victory over Bills in Toronto.
6:21PM ( 1 year ago )
Gonzalez's career ends with another Falcons loss
Tony Gonzalez is ready for the next chapter of his life.
9:47PM ( 1 year ago )
Professional Sports
Parolee faces drug trafficking charge, authorities seize meth. worth nearly $31,000
A parolee faces a trafficking methamphetamine charge after authorities said they found 11 ounces of methamphetamine in his vehicle following a wreck earlier this month.
11:10AM ( 13 minutes ago )
Gov. Deal proposes $50M more on pre-kindergarten
Gov. Nathan Deal said he wants to spend $50 million to reverse cuts to Georgia's pre-kindergarten program that increased class sizes and cut teacher pay.
By Associated Press
8:14AM ( 3 hours ago )
AAA: Lowest Labor Day gas prices in a decade
Motorists in the southeastern United States should find the lowest Labor Day gas prices in a decade.
By AccessWDUN staff
5:30AM ( 5 hours ago )
Ga., five other states partner to combat impaired driving
Law enforcement officials in six states, including Georgia, are launching their 24th annual "Hands Across the Border" campaign aimed at catching motorists driving under the influence.
By The Associated Press
7:57PM ( 15 hours ago )
Turner Field US flag at half-staff, players' families deal with grief after fan dies in fall
ATLANTA (AP) — The U.S. flag flew at half-staff at Turner Field on Sunday, one day after a fan died following his fall from the upper deck into the lower-level stands during a game between the Atlanta...
7:26PM ( 15 hours ago )