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ESPN - Julio Jones heroics could save Dan Quinn's job with Falcons

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Vaughn McClure/ESPN Staff Writer

 

The Atlanta Falcons relied on their best player against arguably the NFC's best team, and it paid off.

Julio Jones scored the game-winning touchdown in the final seconds, a touchdown that was confirmed after a review. Then the Falcons tacked on another score on special teams at the end to make it 29-22. Jones' score happened after an acrobatic touchdown by tight end Austin Hooper was overturned following a review.

The win could improve coach Dan Quinn's status with owner Arthur Blank. The Falcons are 5-9 but have beaten two of the NFC's best in the 49ers and the New Orleans Saints -- both on the road.

Sunday's win would not have happened without Jones, who caught 13 passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns on 20 targets. Whether his targets increased because Calvin Ridley was placed on injured reserve (abdominal injury) doesn't matter. Jones simply got the job done.

When Jones wasn't catching passes, he was drawing pass inference penalties, including one that set up a touchdown run by rookie Qadree Ollison. Jones, just a couple games removed from a serious shoulder injury that kept him out of the Thanksgiving night game against the Saints, showed no ill-effects from that injury.

Jones wasn't even flawless Sunday, dropping a couple balls he normally would catch but he snapped a career-worst nine-game stretch without scoring a touchdown within a single season.

If Quinn somehow survives the storm from this tumultuous season, he'll have Jones to thank for it. It's always good to have arguably the best receiver in the league on your team. And now Quinn and the Falcons need to ride Jones in their final two games, next week at home against Jacksonville and in the season finale at Tampa Bay.

QB Breakdown: Matt Ryan completed 25 of 39 passes for 210 yards and the two scores to Jones. He posted a QB rating of 95 and did a nice job scrambling to avoid pressure at times. Ryan was sacked twice in the game and ran the ball five times for 27 yards, including a long run of 9 yards.

Troubling trend: Penalties became a thorn in the Falcons' side again, although at least two of them were questionable calls. The Falcons collected 11 penalties for 98 yards, with costly penalties on offense, defense and special teams.

Silver lining: Vic Beasley Jr. had another sack to bring his team-leading total to seven with two games remaining. Beasley has 5.5 sacks over his past six games after going five games without a sack. Beasley still isn't the same player who led the league with 15.5 sacks in 2016, but he's played inspired football in the second half of the season after being dangled as trade bait before the deadline. Beasley's contract is up after this season, and his future as a Falcon is uncertain despite the surge. If the Falcons don't want to bring him back, Beasley knows he's auditioning for 31 other teams. Overall, the defense came up with some big stops when it counted most. Give De'Vondre Campbell credit for a strip and Blidi Wreh-Wilson credit for playing solid a cornerback with Desmond Trufant (forearm) on injured reserve.

https://www.espn.com/blog/atlanta-falcons/post/_/id/34911/julio-jones-heroics-could-save-dan-quinns-job-with-falcons

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We will just have to see what a second year under Koetter will look like. 

Rookie RG and RT hopefully take the next step. 

Move on from Freeman and Beasley.

Make some real decisions/splashes on our front 7.

Maybe get KeKe back?

Who knows...

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I mean who’d have thought having one of thee best weapons in the league you base your game planning around him.

I mean Julio in the slot for 25 nooooo can’t have that it’s so frustrating watching how hard this offense makes it.

 I mean what was Julio’s line today 130 odd with 2 TDs and the game winner I mean he could have that every week.

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20 minutes ago, SirCzah said:

We will just have to see what a second year under Koetter will look like. 

Rookie RG and RT hopefully take the next step. 

Move on from Freeman and Beasley.

Make some real decisions/splashes on our front 7.

Maybe get KeKe back?

Who knows...

No we dont need to see that

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6 minutes ago, kiwifalcon said:

I mean who’d have thought having one of thee best weapons in the league you base your game planning around him.

I mean Julio in the slot for 25 nooooo can’t have that it’s so frustrating watching how hard this offense makes it.

 I mean what was Julio’s line today 130 odd with 2 TDs and the game winner I mean he could have that every week.

if he has another two games like he did this season then he can move up to the 26-27 range of yards caught all time.

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13 minutes ago, kiwifalcon said:

I mean who’d have thought having one of thee best weapons in the league you base your game planning around him.

I mean Julio in the slot for 25 nooooo can’t have that it’s so frustrating watching how hard this offense makes it.

 I mean what was Julio’s line today 130 odd with 2 TDs and the game winner I mean he could have that every week.

Literally the same exact line as kittles pretty much  13 for 134  difference being julio with 2 td's and kittle with 0 and theres the difference in the ballgame :)

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5 minutes ago, Malachore said:

Quinn is likely coming back, I'm indifferent to it if it happens.

I will be depressed if DK is retained though.

I just had this thought, what about sending DK packing and promoting Mike Mularkey to OC and going back to the Michael Turner Smitty days? I know many folks didn't like that style of offense but personally I love a smash mouth power run game based offense. I think Ollison is the perfect back for that type of offense too. Mularkey is a very good offensive mind, criminally underrated IMO. He's had success offensively everywhere he's been.

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Just now, FalconFan13 said:

Literally the same exact line as kittles pretty much  13 for 134  difference being julio with 2 td's and kittle with 0 and theres the difference in the ballgame :)

13 catches id expect Julio round the 200 yard mark 16-20 yards a catch.

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18 minutes ago, kiwifalcon said:

I mean who’d have thought having one of thee best weapons in the league you base your game planning around him.

I mean Julio in the slot for 25 nooooo can’t have that it’s so frustrating watching how hard this offense makes it.

 I mean what was Julio’s line today 130 odd with 2 TDs and the game winner I mean he could have that every week.

Incompetent OC bro!!

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2 minutes ago, kiwifalcon said:

13 catches id expect Julio round the 200 yard mark 16-20 yards a catch.

Normally i agree but you are facing the #1 pass defense in the league.  13/134/2 td's  is an *** whipping to a #1 defense and i can promise you they know it lol.

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Just now, FalconFan13 said:

Normally i agree but you are facing the #1 pass defense in the league.  13/134/2 td's  is an *** whipping to a #1 defense and i can promise you they know it lol.

Yes, the 49ers have the #1 pass defense in the NFL but they were missing a few starters today.

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1 minute ago, AUTiger7222 said:

Yes, the 49ers have the #1 pass defense in the NFL but they were missing a few starters today.

Might have been but we were as well in Ridley and honestly no Sanu anymore either.  So they could easily focus on Julio and try to stop him.   Frreman and company wasn't really scaring them and Hooper as good as he is was held in check alot by their lb crew.

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Just now, FalconFan13 said:

Might have been but we were as well in Ridley and honestly no Sanu anymore either.  So they could easily focus on Julio and try to stop him.   Frreman and company wasn't really scaring them and Hooper as good as he is was held in check alot by their lb crew.

Oh yeah, it was impressive nonetheless.

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We need a more creative play caller, I think

Penalties were killers - I think all the young guys and O-Line shuffling causes some of that  - Also a very good team that gets you out of position and forces them

Great FREAKING win though

 

 

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Quinn is probably safe. It's clear the players love him and haven't quit on him. But that doesn't mean changes won't happen. They can't keep Koetter. He's handcuffed this offense. Frankly Dimitroff needs to go as well. I think Koetter was his hire and not Quinn's. In my opinion, you can tack the o-line mess on Dimitroff as well.

If Quinn is fired, I'll understand. Starting the year 1-7 is inexcusable. But I can't see everyone coming back. Changes have to be made

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14 minutes ago, FalconFan13 said:

Normally i agree but you are facing the #1 pass defense in the league.  13/134/2 td's  is an *** whipping to a #1 defense and i can promise you they know it lol.

You know what I think it wouldn’t matter that much.You get Julio on the wrong day it’s over.

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