Julio Jones, teammates react to game-winning touchdown

ATLANTA – Julio Jones became the Falcons’ all-time leading receiver on a play that happened to be the game-winning play for Atlanta. Jones needed 101 yards to tie Roddy White’s record of 10,863 career receiving yards heading into Sunday’s game. Jones now holds the franchise record with 10,868 yards.

With 2:20 left to play down 20-17, offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter dialed up a screen play for Jones. On fourth-and-3, Ryan got the ball out to Jones quickly and the rest was history.

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Falcons wide receiver Mohamed Sanu and left tackle Jake Matthews made two significant blocks to allow Jones the space to run. Jones out ran two players in the Eagles’ secondary and put the Falcons ahead 23-20 on a 54-yard touchdown play.

“When Sanu kicked the guy out, it was pretty much a foot race,” Jones said. “That was it. It was wide open, they been giving us those zero looks throughout the game and sooner [rather] than later, we made them pay. We made them pay earlier in the game on the one to [Calvin Ridley] and then to myself at the end of the game.”

Here’s what a few of Jones’ teammates had to say about his game-winning play:

Jake Matthews:

“We ran a screen,” Matthews said.  “We executed it really well, I tried to take a good release. [Mohamed] and [Julio] set it up perfect. I just had to do my job and know they would do the rest. I still don’t have my voice because I was yelling so loud. It was a good feeling.”

Calvin Ridley:

“He’s a beast,” Ridley said. “Fourth down, we called a screen and we got it to our best player and he made a great play.”

Desmond Trufant:

“That’s what he does,” Trufant said. “I’m not surprised at all. He’s been doing it. And I’m just glad I don’t have to guard him.”

Matt Ryan:

“It was a great play-call by Dirk,” Ryan said. “Mohamed Sanu and Jake Matthews did a great job of getting the blocks we needed to get that play started. Julio in space … the best receiver in the game. It was a great call at the right time. It was just what we needed. It’s special for him to break a record that way in such a critical situation. That was pretty cool. I’m proud of him. It’s been an honor to play with him for as long as I have. Let’s hope there’s a lot more of that in store now that he’s under contract for a long time.”

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