He was up to the task.
"I know the other guys on the field are counting on me to make those plays when the ball comes my way," Jones said.
"While you don't want see anybody go down, nobody panicked, nobody blinked," said Ryan, who was sacked twice and hit eight times after throwing. "We just stayed the course."
Jones matched the best performance of his career; he also put up 182 yards receiving in last season's NFC Championship Game.
"Julio and Matt seemed to be in sync," coach Mike Smith said. "They were seeing the defense the same way."
Jackson, facing the team he played with for the last nine years, capped Atlanta's opening drive with an 8-yard touchdown catch, but the celebration was short-lived. Apparently injured when he stretched for the goal line, Jackson walked slowly to the locker room and didn't return.
Then it was Jones beating Janoris Jenkins in man-to-man coverage, breaking free down the middle for the longest reception of his career to make it 14-0. Umenyiora extended the lead when he picked off a deflected pass and showed surprising speed in front of the Rams' bench. He then staggered to the sideline, smiling, and grabbed an oxygen mask.
Atlanta turned to Jones to clinch it. He hauled in a short pass and broke free on a 22-yard play. Then, on third-and-3 at the Rams' 40, Ryan rolled to his left away from pressure and lobbed a pass that Jones leaped up to grab for an 18-yard gain.
Three plays later, Snelling ran it in.
"We never believe we're out of the game until the clock says zero," Quinn said. "We just fell a play or two short."
NOTES: The Falcons had 1 yard rushing in the first half and finished with 36 rushing yards on 16 carries. ... Rams wide receiver Chris Givens had five catches for 105 yards. ... Falcons wide receiver Roddy White played but still was slowed by a high ankle sprain. He had three catches for 21 yards. ... Atlanta punter Matt Bosher made a huge play at the end of the third quarter, leaping up to grab a high snap in his own end zone. He then got off a wobbly punt that rolled for 63 yards.
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press