Behind Enemy Lines: Jones not practicing
Every day this week, we’ll round up some of the best content on the Packers opponent in Sunday’s NFC championship game, the Atlanta Falcons.
The Falcons’ star wide receiver Julio Jones missed practice for the second day in a row on Thursday.
In the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Michael Cunningham writes that Jones insists he’ll be good to go on Sunday against the Packers.
Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones missed practice for the second straight day on Thursday because of a foot injury. The plan is for Jones to participate in Friday’s light practice session in preparation for Sunday’s NFC championship game against the Packers at the Georgia Dome.
“It’s fine,” Jones said. “I will be ready to go.”
Jones has dealt with foot/toe issues for more than a month. He didn’t finish the divisional playoff game against the Seahawks on Saturday after he was in and out of the game several times because of the injury. Jones played 42 of 72 offensive snaps (58 percent) against Seattle and caught six passes for 67 yards with a TD.
The team website talks slowing down Aaron Rodgers:
Much like he did when the 49ers visited Green Bay in the playoffs a few years ago, Ric Flair is fired up for another Packers playoff opponent:
ESPN’s Kevin Seifert writes that, for all the attention Aaron Rodgers is getting, Matt Ryan has played even better:
Atlanta’s center, Alex Mack, has played excellent football since signing as a free agent from the Cleveland Browns. Vaughn McClure writes that Mack gives a lot of the credit for his stellar play to Joe Thomas of the Browns.
The Falcons certainly got the polished version of Mack last offseason, as he was arguably the most impactful free-agent pickup of any team in the league. His ability to set the calls up front and to produce clean snaps for MVP candidate Matt Ryan were two elements that made a world of difference from last year's version of the Falcons. And those aspects are minor when you also consider his strength of getting out in the outside-zone scheme and blocking in the run game, along with helping to keep pressure off Ryan from up the middle.
Former Falcons wide receiver gives his take on the Falcons outstanding offense: