published Sunday, November 6th, 2011

Falcons keep Colts winless with 31-7 rout

INDIANAPOLIS — Julio Jones’ hamstring looked just fine Sunday.

The rookie receiver caught touchdown passes of 50 and 80 yards and then set up a late field goal with a 19-yard run, leading the Atlanta Falcons to a 31-7 rout of the winless Indianapolis Colts.

After missing two games with a strained left hamstring, Jones finished with three catches for a season-high 131 yards. He added two carries for 33 yards to give Atlanta (5-3) its third straight victory overall and first road win in a series that dates to 1966.

Miami’s win at Kansas City left the Colts (0-9) as the only team in the NFL without a victory. They have lost five straight home games for the first time since 2001, and this defeat was every bit as lopsided as the score made it appear.

Minus injured quarterback Peyton Manning all season, Indianapolis is in danger of falling to 0-10 for the first time since 1997, before the Manning era began.

But the Colts have collapsed everywhere, not simply at one position.

They gave up 14 points off two turnovers Sunday, were shut out on offense and went nearly 30 minutes without a first down. Plus, their top two tight ends — Dallas Clark (lower leg) and Brody Eldridge (hand) — didn’t finish the game.

Indy has been outscored 75-14 in the first half and 120-24 over the past three weeks. The problems started early again Sunday.

Running back Delone Carter fumbled on the game’s second play. Five plays after that, Michael Turner plunged in from 1 yard out to make it 7-0.

Two series later, Jones made a remarkable adjustment between three defenders to haul in Matt Ryan’s 50-yard lob pass at the goal line. The officials initially ruled it incomplete before Atlanta coach Mike Smith challenged the call and won on replay. That made it 14-0 late in the first quarter.

The Falcons were just getting started.

Jones made it 21-0 when he caught a 10-yard pass and outran the Indy defense for an 80-yard score.

The Colts finally scored when Jerraud Powers made a juggling interception and returned it 6 yards for a TD.

But with Curtis Painter and the Colts’ offense struggling, it didn’t matter much.

Ryan threw a 1-yard TD pass to Tony Gonzalez late in the third quarter, and Jones’ long run set up Matt Bryant for a 20-yard field goal early in the fourth to close out the scoring.

Ryan was 14 of 24 for 275 yards with three scores and one interception. Turner ran 19 times for 71 yards.

Painter was 13 of 27 for 98 yards with one interception, and Donald Brown led the Colts with 16 carries for 70 yards.

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