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Julio Jones picks up slack for Atlanta Falcons in win

No Steven Jackson, no problem?

The Atlanta Falcons' starting running back never returned to the game after leaving with a thigh injury early in the first quarter of Sunday's 31-24 victory over the St. Louis Rams.

With Jackson out of the lineup, the Falcons raced to a 24-3 halftime lead and coasted the rest of the way.

Atlanta has to be feeling better about its beleaguered offensive line, but the results were mixed up front. Although Matt Ryan was sacked just twice en route posting the second-highest yardage total of his NFL career (374), he took a beating from the Rams' defensive line.

Picking up the slack for Jackson and a hobbled Roddy White, wide receiver Julio Jones carried the Falcons' offense with 11 receptions and 182 yards, matching his career highs from last season's playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

One area of concern for the Falcons is in the backfield. As was the case too often last season, they showed an inability to run the ball and sit on a comfortable lead.

Atlanta's 36 rushing yards are its fewest in a win in franchise history.

Outside of Jackson's 50-yard scamper through a huge hole in Week 1, Falcons running backs have averaged just 1.86 yards on 28 carries through two games. That's a red flag entering a Week 3 matchup against the Miami Dolphins' talented front seven.

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