(WALA) - Gulf Coast natives Trent Richardson and Julio Jones, had big games and played large parts in leading their respective teams to victory on Sunday.
Richardson appeared to be back in top form after having been limited in practice from a rib injury sustained two weeks ago. The Browns’ rookie running back rushed for 122 yards on 24 carries and scored Cleveland’s sole touchdown in the 7-6 victory over the San Diego Chargers.
This was the Browns’ second home victory and Richardson’s first 100-yard game in the NFL.
Richardson, who originates from Pensacola, Fla. and graduated from the University of Alabama, was the third overall pick in this year’s NFL draft.
He was benched by halftime in last week’s loss against the Indianapolis Colts. According to the Associated Press, Richardson didn’t recognize himself and focused on getting ready for the match up with the Chargers.
Richardson said, “It really didn’t look like me, I want to be 100 percent and the league hasn’t seen me at 100 percent yet. I mean I had two surgeries in less than six months, so I still do a little rehab, not to get off track and stuff. That’s just being a professional.”
Richardson was back to shrugging off defenders, like Chargers’ Atari Bigby, on a 26-yard touchdown run amid blustery, wet conditions.
The Browns (2-6), will take on the Baltimore Ravens in week 9.
Jones’ second quarter 63-yard touchdown reception was significant in Atlanta’s 30-17 win over the Philadelphia Eagles. With this win, the Falcons maintained a perfect record of 7-0. The Atlanta Falcons’ sophomore wide receiver caught five passes for 123-yards and a touchdown.
The Falcons moved to 7-0 and are the only unbeaten NFL team, a first in the franchise’s 47 year history.
Jones was electrifying as ever, in what is becoming a historical season for the current NFC South division leaders. Jones’s longest reception of the day came over Eagles’ cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, putting Atlanta up 21-7.
Jones, a Foley, Ala. native, was selected by the Falcons in the first round, sixth pick overall, in the 2011 NFL Draft.
The Foley native is a threat to Falcon opponents week by week, with his strength, height, speed and leaping ability. Jones turned an ordinary wide-receiver screen into a 37-yard gain, typical of his ability to generate big plays. He has 35 receptions for 499 yards on the year, and is on track to become the Falcons’ top receiver
Jones performance wasn't only significant part of this win, though. Atlanta Falcon’s Head Coach Mike Smith became the first coach in franchise history to record 50 wins.
The Falcons will return to the Georgia Dome in week 9 to face Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys.