FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The early bye week provided the Falcons (3-2) an opportunity to get several key players healthy and back onto the field, including All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones.
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- Key takeaways from Falcons' loss After leaving Atlanta's Week 4 loss to the Buffalo Bills in the first half with a hip injury, Jones was back in action in Sunday's 20-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins. Jones finished the game with six catches on seven targets for 72 yards.
While his six receptions were the second-most he's had in a game this season, Jones never seemed to be the focal point of the offense at any point against Miami. With so many weapons on offense, it's not often that any one player will have to shoulder the load, but Falcons coach Dan Quinn said on Monday he didn't feel like his star receiver was getting the ball enough.
"No," Quinn said when asked if he was satisfied with how much they were getting Jones the ball. "The reason I say that is that he's such a factor. We've got to get more possessions, more time, more plays, and I think that is more the by-product of getting Julio the ball more. It's not where he needs the ball more; we need more plays so he can get the ball more."
In answering the question, Quinn pointed to the number of total offensive plays the Falcons ran as part of the problem. Atlanta ran 56 plays on offense against Miami, including just 23 plays in the second half – nine of which came in the two-minute drill at the end of the game.
With so few plays, there aren't nearly as many opportunities to go around. The Falcons are averaging 61.2 plays per game this season, meaning they were about five plays under that average on Sunday.
On their last possession, Atlanta threw to Jones just once, resulting in an 18-yard gain. Quinn was asked on Monday if there came a point when the coaching staff would decide to get the ball in the hands of their best player and just let him make a play.
"He's 100 percent our guy," Quinn said. "But, when we're in conversations there's times when, no, you can't do that. They're going to say, 'He's not going to beat us on this play.' And so then, that might not be the time to do it. But, there's times that it is – even if he does have two (defenders) on him. And so, on that particular one, it wasn't."
Perhaps most importantly for the big picture is that Jones did not suffer any setbacks in his recovery. There was a moment early in the game when Jones did not return to the field for a series, but that turned out to be the team's plan.
"It was by design," Quinn said. "And that was to make sure there wasn't any setbacks for him further. We wanted to make sure he was going to be available for the whole time. I thought his aggression, his style was really on display yesterday. I thought it was a vintage game for him, in terms of the aggressiveness when he goes to catch it. So, it was great to have him back."