ATLANTA – (AP) — Julio Jones hauled in a short pass behind the line of scrimmage, got the blocks he needed and didn’t stop running until he was well past the end zone.
The Philadelphia Eagles never had a chance.
In the blink of an eye, Jones turned a fourth-down screen pass into a 54-yard touchdown with 2:10 remaining Sunday night. The Atlanta Falcons surrendered a huge play of their own on fourth down but came up with the defensive stop they needed to preserve a wild 24-20 victory.
Jones’ speed on the winning play was stunning, reaching an estimated 20 mph as he glided away from a futile swipe by Rodney McLeod and left Andrew Sendejo far behind.
“OK, it’s a footrace now,” Jones said. “That was it. It really wasn’t like I had to try hard or anything like that. I just had to stay on course.”
A sluggish game turned thrilling in the final minutes. The Falcons (1-1) squandered a 17-6 lead against an injury plagued team that lost two of its top receivers, falling behind for the first time when Carson Wentz dove over from the 1 with 3:13 left and then connected on a two-point conversion pass to give the Eagles a 20-17 edge.
Philadelphia (1-1) had a chance at the end when Wentz converted on fourth-and-14, somehow getting off a pass with a rusher in his chest that Nelson Agholor hauled in between Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen for a 43-yard completion to the Falcons 18.