2013 NFC Championship: Julio Jones has huge first half

Chris Graythen

Catching six passes and two touchdowns, Atlanta Falcons' wide receiver Julio Jones has been doing it all.

Julio Jones has been a one-man wrecking ball during the first half in the Georgia Dome, and the sole reason the Atlanta Falcons hold a tenuous 24-14 lead entering halftime.

Atlanta general manager Thomas Dimitroff made the gutsy decision to trade up and select Julio Jones in the 2011 draft, but thus far it's looked like a sage decision. With 135 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, Jones has earned that price tag -- and then some.


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Scoring the game's opening touchdown, he split San Francisco's secondary on a 46-yard touchdown pass from Matt Ryan. The 49ers looked completed lost in coverage, and the speedy Jones capitalized. From there he's been the Falcons' primary chain-mover, catching seven passes in the first half.

His second touchdown was considerably more difficult than his first, as Matt Ryan threw a perfect pass in the end zone. It required some impressive footwork to remain inbounds, but that 20-yard completion looked to be the begin of another huge Atlanta first half team.

Since that point the 49ers have fought back, but as long as Julio Jones remains on the field he's showing himself to be a difference maker that the San Francisco secondary has no answer for.

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