LANDOVER, Md. (AP) – Julio Jones looked at the end zone, twisted to break a tackle and launched into the promised land.

A swarm of teammates rushed from the sideline, jumping in jubilation to celebrate the end of the star receiver's 12-game touchdown drought.

Jones returned to the final zone where he belongs, and the Atlanta Falcons looked like the team they were expected to be on a 38-14 run against the Washington Redskins on Sunday that extended their winning streak to three games.

"We're a brotherhood," said Jones, who made seven receptions for 121 yards and caught his first touchdown pbad since November 26, 2017.

"We support each other, if someone scores, I'm trying to be first there, nobody hates each other on this team, everyone loves when other people come out and stand out and make plays."

The Falcons (4-4) made many plays by flexing their offensive muscles with the kind of balanced attack they missed in a season marked by injuries that so far has not met expectations. Matt Ryan completed 26 of 38 pbades for 350 yards and four touchdowns, including the 35-yard screen for Jones that sparked a celebration throughout the team.

Although losing four of their first five games did not give Atlanta much to celebrate, racking up 491 yards in Washington has players excited about their current position and what else they can achieve this season.

"The start of the season was not what we were looking for, but we're halfway there, we're 4-4 and we're in the mix," said Ryan, who had touchdowns of 39 and 10 yards for runner Tevin Coleman and a 40-yard receiver for rookie Calvin Ridley.

"The good football teams that I've been part of in my career are the ones that have improved throughout the year, halfway, I think we're a better soccer team than at the beginning and we're keep the trend in that direction. "

Nowhere is that progress more evident than on the field, where Coleman ran for 80 yards and Ito Smith had 66 yards and a quick touchdown. The Falcons topped 100 yards for the first time since Week 2.

"The big guys, they got to work," said coach Dan Quinn, whose team did not take off until the middle of the third quarter and converted its first eight third-down opportunities. "We know we are at our best when the race game and our pbading game are balanced, and today we had that and the results were there."

The Atlanta No. 30 defense also did its part, keeping Washington with 35 yards in the first quarter and making a crucial stop after Ryan was stopped by Quinton Dunbar, just the quarterback's third interception this season.

The Redskins (5-3), leaders in the NFC East, could blame the bad attack, the untimely penalties and a series of injuries on the offensive line by the end of their three-game winning streak.

Already without left tackle Trent Williams after surgery to repair his dislocated right thumb, Washington lost left guard Shaun Lauvao with a left knee injury, right guard Brandon Scherff with a left shoulder injury and struggled to stop The Falcons when it mattered.

"It was not preparation, just execution," said Washington's security chief D.J. Swearinger said. "We have to be better, we have to be disciplined, we have to be disciplined in our efforts."

Swearinger and other players blamed the officials for part of the Redskins' disciplinary problem that added 10 penalties for 147 yards.

Adrian Peterson stayed 17 yards on nine carries a week after running for 149 yards in the New York Giants. Alex Smith was 30 of 46 for 306 yards, an interception and a touchdown pbad to Josh Doctson.


Falcons guard Damontae Kazee effectively ended any chance of a return from the Redskins when he stopped Smith with about seven minutes left. After the play, Kazee ran to the corner of the stadium full of Falcons fans and made his best impression of Ryan throwing the ball to the top of the bottom deck.

Kazee said he was trying to get the ball to his nephew in that corner of the stands and he does not care about the punishment.

"They fine me every week," said Kazee. "I do not care".

The smith race

As inconsequential as Washington's running game was, Smith had the longest win of the day in a fight that helped establish a touchdown. With Peterson blocking for him, the 34-year-old picked up 22 yards before being stopped in a crushing shoulder-to-shoulder blow from Brian Poole at Atlanta 19.


Falcons: Calvin Ridley was allowed to return after being evaluated for a head injury. … K Matt Bryant missed his second straight game with a right thigh injury, and CB Robert Alford came out with an ankle injury, the first game he has lost since 2015.

Redskins: played stretches without three-fifths of his initial offensive line and lost to Lauvao with a potentially serious knee injury. Lauvao injured his left knee on the third play of the game, was removed from the sideline in a wheelchair and did not return. RT Morgan Moses injured his right knee in the first quarter before returning in the second. Coach Jay Gruden said Lauvao and Scherff would undergo an MRI on Monday. … Dunbar went twice with leg injuries. … TE Jordan Reed left briefly with a neck injury.


Falcons: aim for their fourth consecutive win when they visit the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

The Redskins: look to bounce at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.


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