The Falcons came into this game needing to take care of business over a clearly lesser Colts team, and that's exactly what they did on Sunday en route to a 31-7 victory. All three phases played well, and despite the ineffectiveness of the Colts I'd call this an impressive, complete win by the Falcons.
However, there were a couple of Falcons who had absolutely monster games this week. Sean Weatherspoon was all over the place on defense, making tackles right and left, coming up big in the running game and flying to the open receiver in the passing game. Curtis Lofton made a few big plays too, notably forcing Delone Carter to fumble on the first Colts possession.
And then there was Julio Jones. Continue below to see him make the Colts look absolutely silly:
atlanta falcons indy colts highlights week 9 2011 (via jimmerjimmerjimmer4)
Yes, not one but two giant touchdown catches on the day. The first, a fifty-yard score, was impressive in that Jones was able to adjust to Ryan's throw and somehow managed to get his hands underneath that ball. He and the other receivers had a pretty awesome dance when the TD was upheld, as well. Had Julio left the game at that moment, I would've been impressed.
Thankfully he did not, because later that half he would add an absolutely amazing 80-yard touchdown reception to an already impressive performance. We all know Julio is big, but the sheer speed he displayed on that play showed just how dangerous of a weapon he can be for Matt Ryan. At day's end, he would have three catches for 131 yards, two scores, and also two rushed for 33 yards. Wow.
Speaking of Matt Ryan, there were times at which he just looked... off. The line gave him good protection (for the most part). In fact, Will Svitek did an admirable job at holding off Dwight Freeney. But several of his throws either weren't catchable or were tipped by an opposing defender.
And then there was the pick-six. Man that looked really, really bad. Jerraud Powers was clearly playing the slant the whole way, and Ryan threw it right to him. Thankfully Ryan settled down in the second half- something he hasn't done much this season- and made some good throws. Still, he's had a rough year, and interceptions have been a big part of it.
Beyond that, everyone played well. The defense, as I mentioned, was dominant and didn't allow any offensive points. Michael Turner had a respectable day on the ground, with 19 carries for 71 yards. Jacquizz Rodgers also got into the mix, with 10 carries for 44 yards. And Matt Bosher finally had a good day punting, even pinning the Colts on their own two at one point.
All in all, it was a great day to watch the Falcons. With this win, they now sit at 5-3 with the division-leading Saints due up next week, what will be a must-win game if the Falcons hope to keep their NFC South crown hopes alive.