Julio Jones is the X-factor for the Falcons


The Falcons will be more determined to get All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones involved against the Panthers’ staunch defense.

Falcons coach Dan Quinn noted that Jones attracts so much attention that running lanes have been left open for Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman to cruise through. That was the case on Coleman’s 6-yard touchdown run around left end against the Saints. Jones had three people defending him.

Eventually, the Falcons will get Jones rolling, too.

“That will be real scary to get him going and get him the ball more. That will be crazy,” Coleman said. “I’m just happy that our offense is connecting.”

Jones was targeted seven times, but had just one catch for 16 yards against the Saints. It was his lowest catch total in 52 games and his lowest production since catching four passes for 14 yards against Denver in a 27-21 win on Sept. 17, 2012, or 54 games ago.

“Make no mistake, Julio’s our featured guy in terms of the explosiveness,” Quinn said. “There are certain coverages that go his way and the opportunities come for some other players. He knows that.”

The Falcons don’t mind forcing some throws to Jones.

“I wouldn’t sleep on him not having too many games where there aren’t those kinds of numbers,” Quinn said.


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