Daniel Shirey/USA TODAY Sports
Their top receiver, Julio Jones, suffered a foot injury and ESPN confirmed media reports that Jones may be lost for the season.
That is a huge loss for the Falcons, as the numbers show.
Among the best
Jones has been among the best receivers in the NFL this season. He leads the league with 41 receptions and ranks second in receiving yards (580) and yards after the catch (248).
Jones’ 580 receiving yards are the most through the first five games of a season in team history (31 more than Andre Rison had in 1990).
Matt Ryan Targeting Julio Jones
Last 3 Seasons
Jones had teamed with Roddy White to form one of the league’s most potent receiving duos.
Their 35 combined touchdown catches from Ryan were the fourth-most by a receiver pair from a quarterback of any tandem in the league.
Matt Ryan had completed 16-of-26 throws to Jones when he was deeper than 10 yards downfield. The 61.5 percent accuracy rate ranked fourth-best in the NFL for a receiver on throws of that length.
Jones’ 16 receptions were second-most in the NFL and his 112 yards gained after those catches ranked first.
Ryan will have to find a new target. His average throw was 10 yards downfield to Jones, but barely more than half that long to the other Falcons pass-catchers.