FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Julio Jones left his helmet inside and wore a floppy hat to the opening day of the Atlanta Falcons' three-day minicamp.
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — For most of his career, Aaron Rodgers has had plenty of good options at receiver.
However, after going from Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, James Jones and Jordy Nelson...
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons have started their offseason conditioning program without wide receiver Julio Jones for the second straight year.
Falcons agree to 1-year deal with WR Justin Hardy
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons have agreed to a one-year deal with wide receiver Justin Hardy.
Falcons add salary cap space by tweaking Ryan’s contract
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons lack the financial flexibility to be big spenders in free agency even after clearing salary cap room by restructuring quarterback Matt Ryan's contract.
Jones disappointed to miss playoffs, likes Falcons’ future
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Every year Julio Jones puts up big numbers while the Atlanta Falcons fall short of a championship.
And every year he puts a positive spin on what went wrong and what looks promising heading into next season.
Falcons-Buccaneers Preview Capsule
ATLANTA (6-9) at TAMPA BAY (5-10)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox
OPENING LINE - Buccaneers by 2
RECORD VS. SPREAD - Atlanta 5-10, Tampa Bay 6-7-2
SERIES RECORD - Falcons lead 26-24
LAST MEETING - Falcons beat Buccaneers 34-29, Oct. 14
LAST WEEK - Falcons beat Panthers 24-10; Buccaneers lost to Cowboys 27-20
AP PRO32 RANKING - Falcons No. 20, Buccaneers No. 23
FALCONS OFFENSE - OVERALL (8), RUSH (27), PASS (5).
FALCONS DEFENSE - OVERALL (26), RUSH (27), PASS (24).
Julio Jones, Deion Jones pace Falcons’ easy win over Cards
ATLANTA (AP) — The Falcons were struggling again, and quarterback Matt Ryan was looking for something to spark the team.
Ryan got just what he wanted from his teammate, linebacker Deion Jones.
"That was awesome to get us going," Ryan said. "I felt like the energy that really got everybody into it, and from that point forward we played really well."
Falcons’ Julio Jones sent home with flu-like symptoms
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Falcons receiver Julio Jones has been sent home with flu-like symptoms but is expected to play Sunday against Arizona.
Coach Dan Quinn says the wide receiver likely will return to practice on Friday. Jones, a two-time All-Pro, leads the NFL in yards receiving and is the only player in league history with five straight 1,400-yard seasons.
Mistakes, penalties plague Falcons, ensuring losing record
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank watched coach Dan Quinn offer explanations about another defeat. The boss then gave Quinn a hug before he walked out the door of a Lambeau Field media room.
Blank still appears to have Quinn's back as the losses keep piling up for Atlanta.
Falcons’ Julio Jones returns, expected to play at Packers
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — After missing practice Wednesday and Thursday with a foot injury, Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones had limited participation on Friday and is expected to play in Sunday's game at Green Bay.
Jones was removed from Atlanta's injury report.
Backup tight end Logan Paulsen was ruled out with knee and ankle injuries. Kicker Matt Bryant is questionable with a back injury.
Falcons consider OL changes to find protection for QB Ryan
ATLANTA (AP) — Changes are being considered on Atlanta's offensive line after Matt Ryan was sacked six times in the latest of the Falcons' three straight losses.
Coach Dan Quinn said Friday backup linemen Zane Beadles and Ty Sambrailo could have bigger roles as the Falcons try to find better protection for Ryan and improved run blocking.
Sheriff: Julio Jones’ relatives wounded in Alabama shooting
MAGNOLIA SPRINGS, Ala. (AP) — Authorities say four relatives of Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones have been wounded in a shooting at an Alabama trailer park.
Falcons looking for more than field goals against Saints
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons can't afford to lean on Matt Bryant's powerful right leg this week.
Field goals won't be enough to keep pace against the high-scoring New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
Falcons’ Jones declines to take much credit for milestone
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Julio Jones seems to take pleasure in shutting down questions about his accomplishments.
It comes to him as naturally as catching a pass over the middle and stiff-arming a defender for extra yards.
Jones, the Atlanta Falcons' star wideout, last week became the quickest player in NFL history to reach 10,000 yards receiving. He accomplished the feat in 104 games, easily breaking Calvin Johnson's mark of 115.
Flags, injuries, bad ‘D’ hurt Skins in 38-14 loss to Falcons
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — As harbingers go, this was quite a start for the Washington Redskins.
After a 4-yard run on the opening play of the game, the hosts' initial possession featured a holding penalty, a sack for a loss of 9 yards, an injured left knee for left guard Shawn Lauvao — who was taken to the locker room in a wheelchair — and a three-and-out punt.
Falcons flex offensive muscles, blow out Redskins 38-14
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — Julio Jones set his sights on the end zone, twisted to break a tackle and lunged toward the promised land.
A swarm of teammates rushed over from the sideline, jumping around in jubilation to celebrate the end of the star receiver's 12-game touchdown drought.
- Wisconsin State JournalTraveling man: Packers put trust in rookie Jaire Alexander to match up with top receiversDecember 13, 2018
- Wisconsin State JournalTom Oates: Grading Packers' performance in 34-20 win over FalconsDecember 9, 2018
- The Washington TimesJosh Norman impressed with Falcons offenseNovember 2, 2018
- Tribune-ReviewTim Benz: Mike Tomlin shouldn't worry about ‘trickle down' on Steelers' safeties, cornersOctober 27, 2018
Quinn, Falcons search for ways to end 3-game skid
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Coach Dan Quinn has been here before with a three-game losing streak.
The Atlanta Falcons dropped three straight last year. They lost six in a row in Quinn's first season in 2015.
"None of us expected to be here with this losing record," Quinn said Monday. "We also don't expect to stay here."
At 1-4, the Falcons are reeling and hardly resemble the team that recovered from a three-game skid last year to win seven of 10 and make the playoffs.
Steelers defense turns up pressure by turning back the clock
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Joe Haden understands how it looks. Spend an afternoon keeping the NFL's leading wide receiver in check and you're bound to get all the credit.
Yet the veteran Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback understands he didn't exactly shut down Atlanta's Julio Jones during a dominant 41-17 win on Sunday all by himself.
Ridley’s breakout game gives Falcons another big-play threat
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Opposing coaches have a new reason to reconsider making Calvin Ridley the third priority in defensive plans against the Atlanta Falcons' passing game.
Bengals’ Kirkpatrick & Falcons’ Jones resume Alabama rivalry
CINCINNATI (AP) — Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick got to see receiver Julio Jones' rare abilities during practice at Alabama.
They've never gone head-to-head in the NFL, which is about to change on Sunday in Atlanta when they're paired again in a nostalgic rematch.
FANTASY PLAYS: Targeting Niners-Chargers and Colts-Texans
For the third straight week this NFL season, game stacking — playing three or more players from the same game — was an effective way to win daily fantasy tournaments.
The logic is that when a matchup turns into a shootout, there's a lot of back and forth from each team, leading to high fantasy point totals for multiple players.
Falcons’ Julio Jones misses practice, says he’s good to play
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones says he's "good" to play against New Orleans on Sunday despite missing his second day of practice with tightness in his calf.
Jones says his absence from practice on Thursday was "just precaution." He says he "felt some tightness" in last week's 31-24 win over Carolina.
Julio Jones joins Falcons’ long list of injured players
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Wide receiver Julio Jones, held out of practice with a calf injury, has joined the Atlanta Falcons' long list of injured players.
Panthers CB Bradberry seeks breakout year vs NFL’s top WRs
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Panthers cornerback James Bradberry has set his sights on becoming an All-Pro cornerback this season.
He will certainly have the opportunity to prove he belongs in that category.
The Panthers third-year cover man will face the some of the league's best wide receivers in the coming weeks, beginning with Atlanta's Julio Jones on Sunday.
Foles shows off catching skills, Eagles beat Falcons 18-12
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Nick Foles could end up playing a new position when Carson Wentz comes back if he keeps this up.
Foles caught another pass in a clutch spot to spark a sputtering offense that looked out of sync and the defense picked up right where it left off last time it faced Atlanta.
Eagles stop Ryan to Jones again, beat Falcons 18-12
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Matt Ryan to Julio Jones failed in Philly again.
Jay Ajayi had a pair of touchdown runs, Nick Foles caught another pass to jump-start a sputtering offense and the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles needed another defensive stand to open the NFL season with an 18-12 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night.
The Latest: Eagles beat Falcons 18-12 in sloppy NFL opener
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Latest on the Atlanta Falcons playing the Philadelphia Eagles in the opening game of the NFL season (all times local):
Jay Ajayi scored on two runs and the Philadelphia defense made Matt Ryan look awful much of Thursday night as the Eagles opened the defense of their first NFL title since 1960 with a sloppy, penalty-filled 18-12 victory over Atlanta.
Jones says he’s ready to roll after missing preseason games
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Julio Jones did not take a snap in preseason and the two-time All-Pro receiver is not the least bit concerned.
When the Atlanta Falcons visit Philadelphia to open the NFL schedule on Thursday night, Jones says he will be fully healthy to face the defending champions.
Falcons know the time is ripe to finally win a championship
ATLANTA (AP) — There are times that come along in the NFL, when the confluence of bountiful drafts, stars in their prime and a still-manageable salary cap align to put a team in position to win a championship.
For the Atlanta Falcons, that time is now.
A franchise still scarred by blowing a 25-point lead in the Super Bowl looks poised to make another run at that elusive first title, but the window of opportunity is starting to close just a bit.
Falcons Preview Capsule
ATLANTA FALCONS (11-7)
New faces: OG Brandon Fusco, rookie WR Calvin Ridley, DT Terrell McClain, rookie DT Deadrin Senat, TE Logan Paulsen, FB Ricky Ortiz, CB Justin Bethel, QB coach Greg Knapp, RB coach Bernie Parmalee.
Key losses: DT Dontari Poe, DE Adrian Clayborn, WR Taylor Gabriel, FB Derrick Coleman, TE Levine Toilolo.
Falcons being extra cautious to protect Julio Jones’ health
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — There will be no leaping sideline catches, no end zone fade routes, no over-the-middle patterns for Julio Jones this preseason.
Fans hoping to see Jones in the Atlanta Falcons' final two preseason games, including Saturday's game at Jacksonville, better arrive early for pregame warmups. After that, the wide receiver will be a sideline observer.
Falcons coach: Jones, Freeman held out of 3rd preseason game
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman are healthy and practicing at full speed again this week but will be held out for the third straight preseason game when the Atlanta Falcons visit the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday.
Ryan impressive in Falcons’ 28-14 preseason loss to Chiefs
ATLANTA (AP) — Even in the preseason, Matt Ryan gets miffed about a poor showing.
He had nothing to complain about Friday.
Ryan guided the Atlanta Falcons right down the field for a touchdown on their first possession, hooking up with Austin Hooper on a 4-yard scoring pass , and led another impressive drive before calling it a night in a 28-14 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Falcons’ Bryant kicks in practice, may play against Chiefs
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Atlanta Falcons kicker Matt Bryant, who missed last week's preseason opener with an undisclosed injury, may return this week.
Coach Dan Quinn says the 43-year-old Bryant kicked "about 15 times" but was limited in Wednesday's practice. A decision has not been made about Bryant's status for Friday night's preseason game against Kansas City.
Jones is not only Atlanta’s star receiver, he’s a mentor
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — It was just another routine throw in practice, a rookie quarterback tossing the ball to a rookie receiver.
When the two failed to connect, Julio Jones stepped in.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Matt Ryan is eager to regain his MVP form with the Atlanta Falcons.
It sure seems possible with Julio Jones in camp, first-round pick Calvin Ridley ready to make an impact and — perhaps most important — a full season in the books with offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian.
While Ryan put up his seventh straight year with more than 4,000 yards through the air, he didn't come close to matching the best season of his career under previous coordinator Kyle Shanahan.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Ricardo Allen began listing the weapons on the Atlanta Falcons' offense and shook his head.
Wide receivers Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu and Calvin Ridley. Running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Quarterback Matt Ryan.
The safety said facing those playmakers is like a bad dream he must revisit every practice. But Allen also smiled because that's good news for Atlanta's 2018 outlook.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Julio Jones insists his status for training camp was never in doubt.
Jones, the five-time Pro Bowl receiver, was back for the start of Falcons training camp Friday after missing a mandatory minicamp in June while asking that his contract be reworked.
Jones dismissed reports he wouldn't report without a new deal as "he said, she said" speculation.
"We knew all along we were going to get it handled," he said.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons agreed to a five-year, $75 million contract extension with left tackle Jake Matthews on Friday.
The 26-year-old Matthews was the No. 6 overall pick in the 2014 draft. He has started in each of his 63 games while serving the key role of protecting quarterback Matt Ryan.
"I love playing here and love the city and I'm blessed and humbled," Matthews said.
No extension, no big deal for Packers’ Aaron Rodgers
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers sounds as if he's more worried about swimming with sharks than a new contract.
Starting training camp without an extension from the Green Bay Packers is not really that big a deal to the two-time NFL MVP.
"I've seen a lot of stuff you guys have either written or that's been written about it," Rodgers said Thursday. "I talk with my agent daily, so I'm aware of conversations. But I'm really not too worried about it."
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Falcons coach Dan Quinn had good reason not to worry about Julio Jones showing up for training camp.
Jones told Quinn weeks ago he'd report on time, even as the wide receiver sought to have his contract renegotiated. A training camp holdout appeared to be Jones' best path to a new deal.
Falcons WR Julio Jones will report to training camp
ATLANTA (AP) — Julio Jones will report to training camp with the Atlanta Falcons, the team said late Wednesday after reaching an agreement to renegotiate the star receiver's contract next year.
General manager Thomas Dimitroff announced the compromise about 16 hours ahead of Thursday's 4 p.m. reporting deadline, removing a major distraction hanging over a team that is again expected to be one of the top contenders in the NFC.
ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Dan Quinn, who have led the team to the playoffs the last two seasons, have signed three-year contract extensions.
The deals were announced Wednesday, a day before players report for training camp. Financial terms were not disclosed for the contracts, which will run through the 2022 season.
ATLANTA (AP) — Stifled by the salary cap, the Atlanta Falcons won't be offering Julio Jones a more lucrative contract.
Not this year, at least.
Now the question is: Will the star receiver show up for training camp?
Matt Ryan, Falcons press on without Julio Jones
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Matt Ryan once again worked without his favorite target Wednesday on the second day of the Atlanta Falcons' "mandatory" mini-camp, yet the quarterback said he's not worried about wide receiver Julio Jones being absent and plans to work out with him soon.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Julio Jones remains in coach Dan Quinn's good graces even after missing the opening day of the Atlanta Falcons' mandatory minicamp.
Quinn said Tuesday he thought Jones, who missed voluntary offseason workouts , would participate in the minicamp. The coach said he found out Monday that Jones would skip the minicamp.
Julio Jones will skip Falcons’ minicamp
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons will open their mandatory minicamp without Julio Jones, one of their most important playmakers.
Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said the team was informed Monday that Jones will not be present when the three-day minicamp opens on Tuesday.
Jones, under contract through 2020, apparently is seeking a new deal as he has fallen behind other top NFL receivers in average earnings.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Alysha Clark had 17 points and a career-high five steals, Breanna Stewart added 16 points and the Seattle Storm beat the Los Angeles Sparks 88-63 on Thursday night.
Seattle jumped out to a 24-9 lead in the first quarter and led 42-33 at the break behind 12 points apiece from Stewart and Natasha Howard. The Storm opened the second half on a 17-6 spurt to extend it to a 20-point advantage.