Wes Durham, the radio voice of the Atlanta Falcons, almost lost it when Julio Jones completed the Atlanta scoring on Sunday by hauling in a 40-yard pass from Matt Ryan and dragging the defender into the end zone.
“Stop the countdown,” Durham announced. “Touchdown Julio Jones.”
All season Jones has faced the same question each week: Why don’t you have any touchdown receptions?
Jones, considered one of the best pass catchers in the league, was having a great season. But everyone seemed to focus on his lack of ability to get in the end zone.
Until Sunday in Washington.
Jones caught a pass from Matt Ryan – he had seven catches for 121 yards – and was not going to be denied the end zone. He maneuvered past a determined Ha-Ha Clinton Lynch past the goal line for his first score of the year.
"It felt good,” quarterback Matt Ryan said. “I think that nobody deserves it more than him. Nobody works harder than he does. Nobody draws more double coverage than he does around the league. For him to get in and the way he did and the reaction you saw from everybody, obviously that’s been a question we’ve had to answer for a long time. We’ve been scoring points. We’ve been doing a good job with that. He’s been super unselfish. I think we were all fired up for him to get in there."
Jones now has 60 catches for 932 yards – and one touchdown. It was the fifth time he’s gone over 100 yards receiving in a game. The score set off a raucous celebration for the Jones and the Atlanta offense.
"I think it says everything about how he’s viewed,” Ryan said. “He’s the most unselfish player that you’ve been around. He’s the most unselfish superstar that you can imagine. But the work that he puts in, the guys see that. They also see what he’s done for everybody else too to open things up. So when he was able to get in at the end of the game, the celebration was fun to be a part of. Nobody deserves it more and I don’t think anybody could’ve scored that we would’ve been happier for so that was cool."