Atlanta Falcons: Ryan and Jones show off the long ball connection

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan hands the ball to running back Michael Turner. AP

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan hands the ball to running back Michael Turner. AP

MIAMI – The Falcons showed off their vertical passing attack against the Dolphins in a 23-6 victory on Friday at Sun Life Stadium.

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan launched three bombs in the direction of second-year wide receiver Julio Jones, who came down with one for a 49-yard gain.

He got his hands on the other two, but was unable to haul them in for catches. One of the attempts would have resulted in a touchdown.

One of the features of the offense under new coordinator Dirk Koetter is the deep passing attack. The Falcons did not regularly throw the ball down the field under former coordinator Mike Mularkey and did not displayed the deep ball much in games against the Ravens and Bengals.

“I think that’s one of the things when you are throwing it down the field, you just got to keep taking those chances,” said Ryan, who completed 18 of 26 passes for 220 yards and one touchdown against the Dolphins. “You’ve got to have the timing just right. It’s one of the those things where you are 1 out of 3 on balls way down the field, that’s not a bad day.”

On their second possession of the third quarter, the Falcons had the ball first down-and-10 at their 34 when Ryan took a deep shot down the field.

Jones worked his way back to a slightly under thrown pass and hauled in the 49-yarder.

“It was big because that changed field position for us pretty quickly,” Ryan said of having a quick-strike capacity in the offense. “We were in a backed-up situation. …I think that’s something that if we can do that throughout the year; change field position with one big explosive play like that, it’s going to benefit us.”

The Falcons went on to score their only touchdown of the game on that drive when Ryan tossed a 20-yard strike to Roddy White.

Jones finished with four catches for 90 yards. He figures that he’ll catch those other two passes he dropped when he and Ryan work out there game-speed timing.

“When the games come around, you play at a higher level than practice,” Jones said. “You are going to run faster and you’re going to throw the ball farther. Preseason is helping us out.”

He wasn’t too worried about the near misses.

“We are going to get it,” Jones said. “He was just taking some shots. I thank him for that. We are trying to be an explosive team. We just have to take those shots so that when those plays present themselves, we have to know that we are going to be able to hit them during the regular season.

“It was good to get them out there now. It’s the preseason. It’s just all about timing and we are just trying to get on the same page.”

Ryan, who may play just a series or not at all against Jacksonville on Thursday, is having a spectacular exhibition season. He’s completed 45 of 60 passes (75 percent) for 549 yards, three touchdowns, an interception and has a quarterback rating of 111.

He’s not worried about the running game, which has struggled in the exhibition season. The Falcons rushed for 69 yards on 27 carries against the Dolphins.

“I’m not concerned,” Ryan said. “We have strong offensive line and a good stable of running backs. It’s something that we’ll get rolling as you have a chance to play all four quarters, its interesting to see how things shake out. I think we’ll be just fine.”

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61 comments Add your comment

JD2 The Duke

August 25th, 2012
1:20 am

J.J.M.

August 25th, 2012
1:30 am

What bombs did you see? You mean the underthrown passes? I saw a deep ball from dominique davis though that went for a touchdown

[...] Florida media outlet in particular, but he's long been a thoroughly ineffective NFL …Atlanta Falcons: Ryan and Jones show off the long ball connectionAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Falcons snap preseason losing streak with 23-6 win over [...]

The Truth

August 25th, 2012
2:23 am

http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/4637/matt-ryan

“Matt Ryan completed 18-of-26 passes for 220 yards and a touchdown against the Dolphins in the third preseason game.

Coach Mike Smith admitted before kickoff that Atlanta would go with a vanilla game plan so as not to give too much away to the Week 1 opponent. Without benefit of Dirk Koetter’s no-huddle offense, Ryan still produced a 107.9 passer rating while directing four scoring drives in 2.5 quarters. Through three preseason games, Ryan has completed 45-of-60 passes (75.0 percent) for 549 yards (9.2 YPA) and a 3:1 TD-to-INT ratio. There’s been no more impressive QB in the NFL over the past three weeks.”

http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/6475/julio-jones

“Julio Jones led the Falcons with 90 yards on four receptions in two and a half quarters versus the Dolphins in the third preseason game.

Jones made a nice adjustment in double coverage for a 49-yard bomb and just missed a spectacular diving touchdown that would have put him well over 100 yards before halftime. He also led the team with a whopping nine targets, continuing to operate as the explosive focal point in Dirk Koetter’s offense. Through approximately six quarters in three preseason games, the unstoppable Jones has piled up 240 yards and a touchdown on 13 receptions.”

Get ready to have your feelings hurt this season, Vick Apologists. Bwahahaha!

ohhhhYEAH

August 25th, 2012
2:46 am

I believe he was talking about the one in the endzone that went thru JJs hands, and the other where the corner made a great play to save a touchdown and, yes, the ONE underthrown ball which, by the way, was caught. Jus sayin bud. Nice try. Might want to go bury your head if youre gonna start trying to campaign for Davis to be starter. Aint happenin

Jimmy

August 25th, 2012
3:14 am

Crap, I hate when that happens!

What I was trying to say was when will the Falcons be worried by their running game, or lack of one??

While I love the quick short passing game, mixed in w/ some deep throws, a lack of a power running game will hurt this team in the red zone. A lack of efficiency in the red zone is what seperates the good teams from the great teams.

And Saints trolls, be prepared to watch a REAL team tonight in the Texans. And thanks for allowing us to use your stadium again in February.

It’s all about those “Bulls on Parade” baby. All day, every day.

[...] Matt Ryan to Julio Jones is the Falcon new long ball connection [...]

Falcón : The Latest Fuzz

August 25th, 2012
4:37 am

[...] Atlanta Falcons: Ryan and Jones show off the long ball connection – Atlanta Journal Constituti… [...]

T h e Burner Turner

August 25th, 2012
7:32 am

darn , not much rushing yds for me. Jaquizz is too small. Red zone stunk it up. What is wrong , what is wrong. At least some ppl caught passes. Field goals in the first half, nothing but field goals. That stinks. Does Brady settle for field goals. does Peyton settle for field goals, does Eli settle for field goals ? Hell to the no

Darn I am hungry. Breakfast should be open in a few minutes. I snuck down there and my home dog slid me a lb of bacon, 6 eggs, and a gallon of orange juice. He my dog. Now just got to wait until they open the training lunch room for more.

To my credit I forgot to take my ankle weights off and I think it slowed me down some.

Defense had their moments, but they dont look hungry. Speaking of hungry I got to check the dinner menu online to see what they will be cookin.

out…….

Me Too

August 25th, 2012
7:46 am

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

Mike Franklin

August 25th, 2012
8:06 am

The second half was certainly better than the first. Let’s hope that second half was something of a preview.

PS – Is the AJC and DOL still censoring comments this morning?

billyho55

August 25th, 2012
8:37 am

PREACH TRUTH, PREACH!

falCANS

August 25th, 2012
9:14 am

Our Secondary is the strength of our defense. Pressure was decent considering we were basically rushin 4 all night. Nicholas is the leader in D block and has really stepped up a notch. Beer-Man played angry and I loved it. Most importantly Roddy is still our #1 WR and should be treated as such. Oh yea TG gettin old

Just Sayin.....

August 25th, 2012
9:30 am

Dimitroff finally got a good draft pick. Davis needs to start so he can electrify the fans in a way they haven’t since the Mora an Reeves days.

Doninique Davis 4 Strater

August 25th, 2012
9:43 am

We need sum 1 that can throw the depp ball and that aint Rayan!

Esquire

August 25th, 2012
9:56 am

Just Sayin…..
August 25th, 2012
9:30 am

Dimitroff finally got a good draft pick. Davis needs to start so he can electrify the fans in a way they haven’t since the Mora an Reeves days.
________________________________________________________

Seriously, Davis does look great, glad we signed him. Uh, are you saying Davis was a Falcons draft pick? He went undrafted and signed with the Falcons as a free agent. So the fans were electrified back in the Mora/Reeves days…..they weren’t the only thing………!!

Falcon James

August 25th, 2012
10:02 am

I think Ryan underthrow 2 of the 3 passes. He didnt seem to have the cannon that Dominique Davis got. Maybe the Falcon can bring Davis in to throw the long ball and mix in some wildcat runs. Sorry, JPW, but I will save you a place in the unemployment line next week. In unrelated news, Dunta still the weak link in our Defense. It won’t be hard to find somebody better than him. Maybe JPW can play CB. JPW can’t be any worse.

Mikey

August 25th, 2012
10:05 am

I hope we get to see D. Davis with the first string for a few plays… I LIKE what little we have seen! P. Jerry… we LOVE you… great work on your recovery! We wish you a long and successful carreer… you have RISEN UP! Lamar Holmes may be a solid backup soon… I know he is working hard on it and he certainly did his job against backups… Go Lamar! We are SO fortunate to have guys like Roddy and Julio on this team… what a duo and H. Douglas will be a force this year too. This will be M. Ryan’s best year and that is saying something. Still looking for this O-Line to gel… it’s getting there… nice to see new looks and open competition. Who is that number 90 that keeps disrupting offensives? GO Sidbury… Nice work! Bierman also continues to make life difficult for the opposition. Oh… and I noticed that J. Abraham is not over the hill yet! GO FALCONS! Only two more weeks to get READY to RISE UP!

Sherman to the Sea

August 25th, 2012
10:08 am

Surely to goodness Falcon’s brass can see that Davis has to be the backup qb. If Chris Redman throws another 3 yarder when it’s third and 8, I think I will scream. Oh I forgot, I did last night. DD has a great arm and really good vision along with mobility. The mobility gives us a real change of pace with the offense.

John Parker Wilson's Magical Singing Playbook

August 25th, 2012
10:26 am

“Although we come, to the ENNND of the road…..!” LOL

Loyalfalconfrmthemississippi

August 25th, 2012
10:34 am

For a team playing on a wet field i think our team played rather well its alot harder to make plays on a wet ball let alone throw it i have no conscerns

Falcon Lover

August 25th, 2012
10:40 am

Redman shouldn’t be in the NFL.Dominique Davis threw the most accurate passes
in the game. Matty Ice needs to throw better passes to his receivers. Matty Ice is overrated.
The Falcons are not going anywhere with Matty. When the game is on the line he chokes.
Dominique Davis appears to have the best arm on the team.D.Davis needs some snaps with the starters.

Bart Scott

August 25th, 2012
10:40 am

CAN’T WAIT!!!

MaxxFalcon

August 25th, 2012
10:43 am

Falcon Lover- Check out the link that Truth posted earlier in the comments on Matt Ryan’s performance this preseason. According to the stats, he’s been the best QB in the NFL through 3 exhibition games. Not sure what more you want from the guy. And please, don’t forget, this is PRE-Season.

SirReal

August 25th, 2012
10:58 am

PLEASE dont start this Davis over Ryan talk….YES, I like Davis. VERY good upside (meaning he is still a work in progress) but let’s not go crazy here. Do I think he should be our backup even as a rookie, yes and no. Yes because of the upside. No because he really didnt get much time with even the 2s. As long as Ryan can learn to look off his WR this year, the guy should be headed to Hawaii if he keeps this up all year….but PLEASE Birdland, let’s not become Philly-South here.

jaz

August 25th, 2012
11:06 am

If you notice the ease that Dominique plays QB, it’s because he’s “The Natural”.

Just Sayin.....

August 25th, 2012
11:15 am

Those of you praising Ryan’s preseason stats, what is his yards per attempt? How does that compare with the league?

Just Sayin.....

August 25th, 2012
11:17 am

The worst case scenario for Ryan lovers would be that he gets injured and Davis comes in and hits Roddy and Julio on bombs.

Falcon Lover

August 25th, 2012
11:25 am

Matty needs to look off his receivers to confuse defense.
MaxxFalcon ,Matt’s pre-season stats are impressive but if
you want to go there look at his playoff stats. Don’t just give
me his good stats. Since we are being honest.Matty is not on
the same level as Brady,Brees,Manning or Rodgers.The Falcons have plenty of
talent. The offensive coordinator should utilize Jaquizz Rodgers in more screen plays.
So far we are still running on 1st down and passing on 2nd and 3rd
Damn this looks a lot like the Mularkey BS

johnm

August 25th, 2012
12:09 pm

anybody who thinks davis should start ahead of ryan should be shot, just sayin.

All these naysayers

August 25th, 2012
12:27 pm

@the truth—-I think you and I are going to have a pretty darn good Falcon relationship on here. You dog gone right about everything you wrote,…….time to Rise Up!

J.J.M.

August 25th, 2012
1:03 pm

ryan underthrew 3 passes…and I never said anything about dominique davis being the starter I clearly said thats the only perfect deep ball I saw completed for a touchdown

Loyalfalconfrmthemississippi

August 25th, 2012
1:29 pm

U ppl are crazy if u think dom davis should start over ryan sounds to me like ur all aint trolls undercover noones going for that bull ryan is our guy do i like davis yes but a few good performanses against 3s and 4s doesnt mean squat till he shows up when hes needed his place is at # 3 till he gets some experience to replace red all u atl haters can run along

Mr. Hankey

August 25th, 2012
1:38 pm

Not much said about L. Holmes, but I watched his closely and he is just so large that folks can’t get around him. Thought he played pretty f’g good. Saw Baker get handed his glutious a couple of times. Shocker! Making him play good is like trying to get the stink out of a skunk fart. Ain’t happnen. Ready to rock and tailgate with my Falcons “family” 10 times a year. man, I can taste the tequilla right now. Oh, yeah, it’s in a glass on my desk. But you know what I mean.

UGA football fans

August 25th, 2012
2:51 pm

facebook.com/ugafootballfans

old man

August 25th, 2012
3:39 pm

I’m a big Ryan fan, and I think the criticism of his arm strength is overblown.

The pass to Jones was indeed underthrown, but even elite QBs have plays made like that by superior WRs. It was maybe his worst throw of the night, into double coverage. JJ made a big time play. It was all JJ on that one. Over the course of the season, I hope Ryan can make better throws, even if not perfect ones, to the vicinity of JJ where it is essentially a jump ball. JJ will catch those all day long.

powerglide86

August 25th, 2012
4:23 pm

To the people who think Davis should start: That might be the dumbest comments I have ever heard. He did well against the 3rd stringers? You think because he has a strong arm that means hes better at qb? Either you havetn watched any football ever, or you are just plain dumb. Qb is more than just arm strength. Like its scary bc these people can prolly vote to.

Just Sayin.....

August 25th, 2012
4:37 pm

I think the fans are tired and bored of the dink & dunks.

The NFL defenses have caught on.

Just sayin…..

Just Sayin.....

August 25th, 2012
4:40 pm

Ryan better watch his back. If his yards per attempt don’t improve to at least 8 yards per attempt, which is the elite level, he will start
to hear Davis chants.

Blank pulled the trigger once.

Just sayin…..

CGD..

August 25th, 2012
6:20 pm

Falcons won a darn preseason game? Well what do ya know..Did you get a chance to see that beautifully under-thrown 49 yard bomb to Julio. Julio made a All-pro adjustment to go get it and hold on!

Thank you Julio! Gameball to Julio..

Superbowl or Bust, Huh Coach Smith????????????????

CGD..

August 25th, 2012
6:23 pm

Mattie Melt aint the one Grasshopper!

Mr Blank is already shopping for his [Super Bowl] QB.. He has a new Stadium to fill in 2017!

ICE MELT will be holding a Clip bd. by then and swinging a 9 iron on Saturdays..I’m just saying…

Surg

August 25th, 2012
6:32 pm

Powerglide I typed a comment saying the same damn thing and it didn’t even post but I’m glad you said it for me….

Just Sayin.....

August 25th, 2012
10:07 pm

Dom Davissssssssssssssss

Just sayin……

Once Recent Reader

August 25th, 2012
10:10 pm

Hello All. Looking forward to another fun season posting with the gang . .. even good Old MCR and SeenThisBefore. Not overly excited about Joe Tesch Fishhouse – but I’ll read his/her painful posts anyway:)
Now for Davis vs Ryan. I know how it goes with this gang. But I can say, it was a while back, but I saw both Ryan and Davis play live for BC many times. Davis was OK, but there is no comparison. I actually thought Ryan had the stronger arm – but what do I know. Ryan threw a lot more deep passes in College than he has with the Falcons. We never were concerned about his ability to do so at BC. I know it’s the pros now . . . . ..but as many others say . .. . .just saying.

Just Sayin.....

August 26th, 2012
1:03 am

0-3 & ZERO points in last playoff game.

Just sayin…..

Falcon James

August 26th, 2012
8:32 am

Props to @Esquire on this clip. Has to be one of the greatest clips in football history!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynn7VGY2Asc

ohhhhYEAH

August 26th, 2012
8:43 am

@ Jus Sayin….

Ryan has led the league in almost every category so far this preseason. Also, Peyton was -04 in his first four, Eli was even worse than that. Not every QB that was great ever comes into the league and has instant playoff success like Brady and Rodgers. So 0-3 in the playoffs at only age 27 is actually not bad. At least he gets to the playoffs.

Jus Sayin……

ohhhhYEAH

August 26th, 2012
8:44 am

Just Sayin.....

August 26th, 2012
10:10 am

Joe Flacco 5 playoff wins & 2 championship games at age 27.

Just sayin…..

Brothas Hunt 2

August 26th, 2012
2:02 pm

Harry Douglas (HD) is getting treated like a 4th receiving option on the team. Matt needs to look for Harry more often because Roddy, Julio, and Tony are getting all of the defensive attention. I watched the game against Miami and HD is locked up one-on-one against a defender. HD wins the match up against his guy but does not get the ball because Matt is predetermining where he is going to throw the ball before the snap. Often times Matt is throwing to Julio or Roddy. Let’s face it, Tony will not win a foot race against any LB in the league. Tony is still a great red zone option but defenders are often draped all over him and Matt will throw the ball to him in spite of this reality. I agree with most of you that the Falcons will go as far as the O-line takes them because the GM has been cheap and has not invested in top notch O-line talent. We do not have road graders on the O-line. This is evident based on the lack of push from the O-line on running plays when the ball is snapped. So far Turner and Rodgers are averaging about 3 yards per carry in preseason. Therefore, the swing passes to the RBs coming out of the backfield will supplement the running game this year. Based on the regular season schedule, I am changing my prediction from 12-4 to another 10-6 season. This organization has to spend money on top notch O-line talent.

BH2