4 key takeaways from the Panthers loss vs. the Falcons in Week 8

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Tre Boston
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Tre Boston /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Julio Jones /

Julio Jones was a problem for the Carolina Panthers

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that when Julio Jones is on the field, the wide receiver needs to be monitored closely. The All-Pro proved his fitness before kickoff and wasted absolutely no time in making his presence felt.

Jones gained 52 receiving yards from the game’s opening two plays, and it only got better from there. The wideout had his way with the Panthers secondary for the most part, with No. 1 option Donte Jackson getting picked on significantly during the opening exchanges.

It’s clear that Jackson’s toe is still bothering him, no matter how much he doesn’t want to talk about it. The Carolina Panthers didn’t have much in the way of alternatives other than to start him. But he redeemed himself with a big interception in the second quarter that led to a score.

Quarterback Matt Ryan seemed to go away from his star receiver, even when Calvin Ridley and Todd Gurley were forced off the field. Jones was also denied a certain score thanks to a stunning play from undrafted rookie Sam Franklin, but he remained a problem for the Panthers throughout.

Jones eventually finished the game with seven receptions for 137 receiving yards, which was his latest big game against a team he’s torched since entering the NFL.