Julio Jones made an acrobatic touchdown catch on a pass from Matt Ryan, Deion Jones returned an interception for an early score, and the Atlanta Falcons snapped a five-game losing streak with a 40-14 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

The Falcons (5-9) forced three turnovers and sacked Arizona’s Josh Rosen seven times, a single-game season high for both teams. Arizona (3-11) has dropped two straight and five of six under first-year coach Steve Wilks.

Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett (97) prepares to cause a fumble against Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)
Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett (97) prepares to cause a fumble against Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)

Julio Jones caught six passes for 82 yards, all in the first half. His 22-yard score in the closing seconds before intermission put the Falcons up 26-7. Jones beat Patrick Peterson’s bump-and-run coverage down the left sideline, turning the cornerback around and twisting around him to make a diving catch.

Atlanta Falcons linebacker Deion Jones (45) runs back to the bench after he intercepted the ball and ran it in for a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)
Atlanta Falcons linebacker Deion Jones (45) runs back to the bench after he intercepted the ball and ran it in for a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)

Ryan ran for a 1-yard score early the second quarter and finished with 231 yards passing. Matt Bryant added two short field goals and Tevin Coleman had a 43-yard TD run in the third quarter as Atlanta won for the first time since Week 9 at Washington.

Atlanta Falcons running back Tevin Coleman (26) leaps into the end zone as he scores on a pass from Matt Ryan during the second half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)
Atlanta Falcons running back Tevin Coleman (26) leaps into the end zone as he scores on a pass from Matt Ryan during the second half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

Grady Jarrett had two of the Falcons’ season-high seven sacks, and Arizona’s run defenses allowed 215 yards to the NFL’s worst rushing attack.

Atlanta Falcons running back Tevin Coleman (26) celebrates with quarterback Matt Ryan after scoring a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals , Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)
Atlanta Falcons running back Tevin Coleman (26) celebrates with quarterback Matt Ryan after scoring a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals , Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)

Playing behind a makeshift offense line that has lost six players to injured reserve, Rosen was under duress all afternoon and finished with a 38.4 passer rating.

Atlanta Falcons running back Ito Smith (25) runs against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)
Atlanta Falcons running back Ito Smith (25) runs against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)

He got the Cardinals off to a fast start with running back David Johnson catching two long passes to set up a short TD run that made it 7-0, but Arizona was essentially done after Deion Jones scored a touchdown for the third time in eight career interceptions. In his fourth game back after spending most of the season sidelined by a foot injury, Jones forced a 7-all tie in the first quarter, snagging Vic Beasley’s batted ball from the air and running 41 yards for Atlanta’s second defensive TD of the season.

Atlanta Falcons linebacker Deion Jones (45) runs back an intercepted ball against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/John Amis)
Atlanta Falcons linebacker Deion Jones (45) runs back an intercepted ball against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/John Amis)

The third-year linebacker spent the first part of the game covering Johnson and was in the left flats shading the running back when Beasley tipped Rosen’s pass.

QUESTIONS IN THE DESERT

Atlanta Falcons running back Tevin Coleman (26) runs as Arizona Cardinals defensive back Tre Boston (33) makes the tackle during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/John Amis)
Atlanta Falcons running back Tevin Coleman (26) runs as Arizona Cardinals defensive back Tre Boston (33) makes the tackle during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/John Amis)

It feels like a couple of months have passed since Arizona enjoyed a season highlight under Wilks, a 20-17 win at Green Bay two weeks ago.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) works out of the pocket against Arizona Cardinals defensive back Tre Boston (33) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) works out of the pocket against Arizona Cardinals defensive back Tre Boston (33) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)

The Cardinals were flat last week at home against Detroit and gave themselves almost no chance at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Even with so many injuries, the performance was so uninspiring that Wilks might be wondering if he will return for a second season.

Atlanta Falcons running back Ito Smith (25) runs against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)
Atlanta Falcons running back Ito Smith (25) runs against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)

Arizona showed why it began the day with the league’s worst scoring offense, worst passing attack and second-worst ground game.

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) works in the pocket against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) works in the pocket against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)

KEY INJURIES

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) falls into the end zone for a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/John Amis)
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) falls into the end zone for a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/John Amis)

Julio Jones injured his ribs on the TD catch and only played a few snaps in the third with the outcome all but assured. Jones missed practice one day this week with flu-like symptoms.

Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn watches play against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)
Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn watches play against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)

Cardinals cornerback David Amerson left the game with concussion symptoms and didn’t return after colliding with Falcons receiver Mohamed Sanu in the first.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) is sacked by Arizona Cardinals defensive end Markus Golden (44) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) is sacked by Arizona Cardinals defensive end Markus Golden (44) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)

Injured Atlanta running back Devonta Freeman likely won’t return this season, but he was on the sideline cheering on his teammates. Tight end Austin Hooper did not catch a pass and was only targeted once as he played through a sore knee he hurt last week at Green Bay.

Johnson ran 11 times for 33 yards as he played with a sore quadriceps.

Atlanta Falcons cornerback Brian Poole (34) recovered a fumble as Arizona Cardinals offensive guard John Wetzel (73) defends during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)
Atlanta Falcons cornerback Brian Poole (34) recovered a fumble as Arizona Cardinals offensive guard John Wetzel (73) defends during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)

EYES ON THE PRIZE

Arizona Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks speaks to field judge Rick Patterson (15) during the first half of an NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/John Amis)
Arizona Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks speaks to field judge Rick Patterson (15) during the first half of an NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/John Amis)

Falcons coach Dan Quinn got a respite from his team’s poor season of creating takeaways. Brian Poole had an interception and combined with Jarrett on a strip-sack fumble recovery. Bruce Irvin had his best game with Atlanta, finishing with 1 ½ sacks and three QB hits.

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Trent Sherfield (16) makes the catch against Atlanta Falcons cornerback Robert Alford (23) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/John Amis)
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Trent Sherfield (16) makes the catch against Atlanta Falcons cornerback Robert Alford (23) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/John Amis)

UP NEXT

Atlanta Falcons cornerback Brian Poole (34) intercepts a pass intended for Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/John Amis)
Atlanta Falcons cornerback Brian Poole (34) intercepts a pass intended for Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/John Amis)

Cardinals: Host the Los Angeles Rams next Sunday.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) is sacked by Arizona Cardinals defensive end Markus Golden (44) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) is sacked by Arizona Cardinals defensive end Markus Golden (44) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)

Falcons: Visit Carolina next Sunday.

Arizona Cardinals tight end Ricky Seals-Jones (86) makes a catch as Atlanta Falcons defensive back Sharrod Neasman (41) defends during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)
Arizona Cardinals tight end Ricky Seals-Jones (86) makes a catch as Atlanta Falcons defensive back Sharrod Neasman (41) defends during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)

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Source: The Associated Press

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