NFC Championship game 2013: Julio Jones inspires hope in record performance

USA TODAY Sports

Even though the Atlanta Falcons were eliminated from Super Bowl contention on Sunday, they have plenty to look forward to. We discuss Julio Jones' record-setting performance against the San Francisco 49ers.

The Atlanta Falcons fell to the visiting San Francisco 49ers at the Georgia Dome on Sunday. This weekend's conference match-ups were action-packed and full of intensity. The Niners and Falcons were the first game of the day, and early on, it looked like Atlanta was going to run away with it.

However, the 49ers wiped away a 17-point deficit and came back in the second half, devastating the Falcons. On the bright side, Atlanta has something special and it looks as if they'll be annual contenders. Dave Choate of Falcoholics had this post-game reaction following Sunday's loss:

Jones broke Alfred Jenkins' single game record, reeling in 11 catches for 182 yards. It was the single most impressive game I've ever seen out of an Atlanta wide receiver. In the first half, especially, Jones abused the secondary en route to over 100 yards and two touchdowns.

If there's a more dyanmic package of size, speed and skill than Jones in this league-one not named Calvin Johnson, at least-I haven't seen it. Julio basically put the Falcons on his back this game, and considering how close it was, he very nearly got them there. Receivers simply are not supposed to do that, but Jones is capable of it.

Julio Jones was downright unstoppable on Sunday. Even the league's No. 1 defense had no answer for him. Whether he was open or covered, Matt Ryan was going to give Jones a shot and the odds were that the receiver was going to use his athleticism to come down with it.

As a second-year receiver, Jones is going to be a major building block for this franchise going forward.

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