Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018
ATLANTA (AP) -- Julio Jones made an acrobatic touchdown catch on a pass from Matt Ryan, Deion Jones returned an interception for an early score, and the Atlanta Falcons snapped a five-game losing streak with a 40-14 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
The Falcons (5-9) forced three turnovers and sacked Arizona's Josh Rosen seven times, a single-game season high for both teams. Arizona (3-11) has dropped two straight and five of six under first-year coach Steve Wilks.
Julio Jones caught six passes for 82 yards, all in the first half. His 22-yard score in the closing seconds before intermission put the Falcons up 26-7. Jones beat Patrick Peterson's bump-and-run coverage down the left sideline, turning the cornerback around and twisting around him to make a diving catch.
Ryan ran for a 1-yard score early the second quarter and finished with 231 yards passing. Matt Bryant added two short field goals and Tevin Coleman had a 43-yard TD run in the third quarter as Atlanta won for the first time since Week 9 at Washington.
Grady Jarrett had two of the Falcons' season-high seven sacks, and Arizona's run defenses allowed 215 yards to the NFL's worst rushing attack.
Playing behind a makeshift offense line that has lost six players to injured reserve, Rosen was under duress all afternoon and finished
with a 38.4 passer rating.
He got the Cardinals off to a fast start with running back David Johnson catching two long passes to set up a short TD run that made it 7-0, but Arizona was essentially done after Deion Jones scored a touchdown for the third time in eight career interceptions. In his fourth game back after spending most of the season sidelined by a foot injury, Jones forced a 7-all tie in the first quarter, snagging Vic Beasley's batted ball from the air and running 41 yards for Atlanta's second defensive TD of the season.
The third-year linebacker spent the first part of the game covering Johnson and was in the left flats shading the running back when Beasley tipped Rosen's pass.