Deion Jones' emergence in the back half of the season helped drive the Falcons through the postseason and into the Super Bowl. Jones was a key reason why the Falcons' pass defense became better over the final stretch of the season. His speed, instincts, and playmaking ability were invaluable to Atlanta last season.
One of his biggest highlights of his rookie season came in the Falcons' Week 14 game against the Los Angeles Rams. Deion Jones contributed to Jared Goff's disastrous rookie season with an interception returned for a touchdown in Atlanta's blowout win.
The Rams' incompetence on offense allowed this masterpiece to develop. Everyone and their momma knows the Falcons run a heavy Cover 3 scheme. Calling a slant-flat concept to the field is essentially wasting a down against Cover 3.
Deion Jones and Brian Poole don't have to travel far to reach the receivers they need to cover. The Rams are running routes right into the zones that the Falcons are covering. Silly, but one man's trash is another man's treasure.
Once the ball is snapped and the Rams begin to run their routes, they're immediately outnumbered by Falcons' defenders. They have two receivers running routes, Atlanta has three defenders in the immediate vicinity.
The best case scenario for the Rams would've been to throw it to the receiver near the sideline for a one or two yard gain. Jared Goff made the wrong read, throwing right into the teeth of the underneath coverage where Deion Jones was waiting.
As soon as Goff turns his shoulders and sets to throw the ball, Deion Jones sprints to the pass and makes a spectacularly athletic interception. Watch him follow Goff's eyes on his way to the interception here.
The rest is history. Deion Jones snatched the ball out of the air and exploded down the sideline, showing off the speed that made him a Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate.
Here's the play one more time for good measure. Relish in it. Love it.
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