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Falcons vs. Cardinals Recap: Atlanta remains in first place in NFC South with 29-18 win over Arizona

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The Atlanta Falcons pulled out a 29-18 victory over the NFC West-leading Arizona Cardinals.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Peterson said he wanted Julio Jones one-on-one. The cornerback got his wish, but it wasn't the result he had in mind.

Jones turned in a stellar performance, catching 10 balls for career-high 189 yards and a touchdown as the Atlanta Falcons improved to 5-7 to remain atop the NFC South after handling the Arizona Cardinals, 29-18.

Atlanta also had fine performances from Harry Douglas, Matt Ryan, and Steven Jackson.

Douglas filled in for an injured Roddy White and responded with 116 yards on nine catches.

Ryan, who had thrown one touchdown and nine interceptions in the last two matchups against the Cardinals, passed for 361 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception.

And Jackson had his best showing as a Falcon as he ran for 101 yards. He also rattled off a 55-yarder on Atlanta's fourth offensive play of the game.

It was the first time the Falcons had a 100-yard rusher since November 4, 2012.

After the first quarter, the game had the makings of a blowout. The Falcons outgained the Cardinals 183-22 in total yards and held a commanding 17-0 lead.

But Arizona had other plans.

Rashad Johnson took an interception 88 yards for a touchdown on the second play of the second quarter, giving the Cardinals some momentum.

After Atlanta struggled on offense on a couple of drives, Chandler Catanzaro kicked a 44-yard field goal to close to gap to seven points.

That's as close as the Cardinals would get, however.

The Falcons put together a 12-play, 68-yard drive that was capped off with a 23-yard Matt Bryant field goal to end the first half and give the Falcons a 20-10 lead.

Arizona wouldn't put more points on the board until garbage time in the fourth quarter after Stepfan Taylor caught a three-yard touchdown from Drew Stanton with 1:09 left.

Atlanta has a tough matchup next Monday night in Lambeau Field as they take on the Green Bay Packers.

Notes

The Falcons struggled mightily in the red zone, settling for a field goal on four of five trips. The game very well should've been a blowout.

William Moore returned to action and made his presence felt with a forced fumble in the second quarter and a bone-jarring hit on Jaron Brown in the fourth.

Atlanta's defense only allowed one third-down conversion in seven attempts. A lot of that can be contributed to the fact Arizona's offense was putrid.