Maybe Falcons coach Dan Quinn’s conversations with the league about the physical coverage against Julio Jones paid off.
Officials penalized Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson for pass interference on two different drives after he made contact with Jones. The Falcons finished both drives with scores en route to the 38-19 victory.
The Falcons have been frustrated at times this season when, in their view, officials didn’t call penalties after defenders roughed up Jones on pass plays. Coach Dan Quinn twice queried the league on the subject.
This time Jones benefited from some calls.
“It was good,” Jones said. “We had some good referees today. They did a great job officiating the game.”
Peterson’s first penalty set up Atlanta’s opening score.
The Falcons had a third-and-goal at the Arizona 2-yard line when Matt Ryan threw a pass intended for Jones that fell incomplete. Peterson made what appeared to be minimal contact as the pass arrived and an official called a pass interference infraction against him. Falcons running back Devonta Freeman rushed for a one-yard TD on the next play for a 7-7 tie.
Later in the first half, Cardinals linebacker Deone Bucannon intercepted Ryan’s third-down pass intended for Jones. But two officials flagged Peterson for interfering with Jones, who had Peterson draped around his shoulders and arms before the ball arrived.
Jones finished with four receptions on seven targets for 35 yards as Mohamed Sanu (8 catches for 65 yards) and Taylor Gabriel (75 yards and two touchdowns) led Falcons receivers. Peterson shadowed Jones early in the game before later missing some snaps because of injury.
“It’s just respect between me and him,” Jones said. “’Great game, good work, stay healthy.’ It wasn’t any trash talking or anything like that.”
Quinn queried the league after key no-calls involving Jones late in back-to-back losses to the Seahawks and Chargers.
Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman grabbed and pulled down Jones on the Falcons’ final play on Oct. 16 in Seattle. Chargers cornerback Steve Williams pulled down Jones’ arm as a pass arrived late on Oct. 23 at the Georgia Dome.