<
>

Julio Jones: Matt Ryan not going to tank

ATLANTA -- Julio Jones, just like his teammates, always supports Matt Ryan, so Sunday's 24-21 loss to the Indianapolis Colts didn't change the Atlanta Falcons wide receiver's opinion of his quarterback.

Ryan admitted to a poor decision on a fourth-quarter pick-six that altered the momentum in favor of the Colts. Ryan again vowed to make better choices moving forward. Jones firmly believes such will happen.

"I think he's going to be there," Jones said. "He's not the type of guy to get in the tank. Everybody has bad games. I think, just as a whole -- catching the ball, right assignments, keys and everything, who we're blocking -- I think it's the whole offense. You just can't pick out one guy.

"There are a lot of times where if we could have caught a ball here, we would have been in a different situation. Whatever the case may be ... if the protection was different. We're playing hard. It's just we're not getting it done."

Jones has done his part with 89 receptions for 1,189 yards and six touchdowns. His 89 catches through 10 games are tied for the most in NFL history alongside Indianapolis' Marvin Harrison (2002). And Jones' 160-yard effort against the Colts Sunday was his sixth 100-yard game of the season.

As for Ryan, eight of his 10 interceptions and three of his fumbles lost have come in the last six games. The Falcons have gone 2-4 in those games, including three losses in a row.

"Whatever play happens, happens," Jones said. "If a pick happens, if I drop a football, it doesn't matter. That play is over and done with. You move on to the next play. You can't let that play affect the remainder of the game because you have a lot more going on. You can't be selfish by saying, 'I dropped the ball, I missed the pass, I missed the block.' That's being selfish.

"That's happened to me a lot of times. I might drop a ball or miss an assignment. 'All right. I messed that up. It's on to the next.' "

Ryan and the Falcons have to shake off those mistakes and not make them again if they want to remain in the playoff hunt. They are currently the sixth and final seed at 6-4 and play the current fifth seed, the Minnesota Vikings (7-3), on Sunday at the Georgia Dome. Then they'll face the suddenly rising Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are 5-5 and in seventh place, and already have one road win over the Falcons. Not to mention the Falcons have two December meetings with undefeated NFC South leader and current top seed Carolina (10-0).