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Atlanta's top receivers unhappy with own performances
Falcons slowed with dropped passes
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) vies for a passed ball as Chicago Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller (23) defends during the second half of a game Oct. 12 in Atlanta. - photo by John Bazemore | Associated Press

Falcons at Ravens

When: 1 p.m. Sunday

Where: M&T Bank Stadium

Where: Baltimore

On TV: Fox

Nobody expected Julio Jones and Roddy White to be a weak link in the Atlanta Falcons' offense.

The former Pro Bowl receivers are having unforeseen problems holding onto the football and running crisp routes.

"All my career I've made those plays and right now I'm not making them," White said Thursday. "It's frustrating for me because I feel like I'm letting my team down in certain circumstances."

When the Falcons (2-4) visit Baltimore (4-2) this weekend, they will bring a running game that's inconsistent for the second straight year and a once-dependable passing attack that struggles to make basic plays.

Jones and White, both seemingly healthy after an injury-filled 2013, blame themselves for multiple drops.

They each had two in last week's home loss to Chicago. Levine Toilolo, a second-year tight end who replaced legendary Tony Gonzalez, had three and leads the league with six drops in 21 targets this season.

"We are taking it upon ourselves, me and Roddy," Jones said. "We hold ourselves accountable for those dropped passes. The defenders didn't have anything to do with it. It was just lack of focus and concentration by us."

The offense is also without No. 3 receiver Harry Douglas, who was sidelined from practice again Thursday and is likely to miss his fourth straight game with an injured foot.

With a broken foot ending Jones' season last year after five games and White affected by ankle and hamstring injuries, Douglas caught a career-high 85 passes and surpassed 1,000 yards receiving for the first time.

"He's in so many personnel groupings and he's really good on the inside and seam routes," White said. "We're missing a whole lot with his ability to kind of control the middle of the field. Hopefully we can get him back, if not this week then next week, and we'll be a whole lot better team."

Douglas' absence hurts, but the miscues by Jones and White seem worse because both have been elite players at their position.

Jones, the No. 6 overall draft pick of 2011, is a tough matchup for defenders when he's healthy. Linebackers aren't fast enough to cover him and defensive backs lack his strength and size.

He has undergone surgery on his right foot twice in three years for essentially the same injury, but Jones insists there are no concerns with his health this year. He was limited in practice Thursday with a sore ankle.

It's the fundamental elements of receiving are lacking even though he ranks second in the NFL this year in catches and third in yards receiving.

"I always catch everything with my hands," Jones said. "No matter where it's at, I try to do my best to catch it with my hands and not let the ball get into my body."

White, the Falcons' career leader in catches and yards receiving, is taking the setbacks personally and promises a different outcome on Sunday.

He acknowledges recently taking his eyes off the ball to gauge where the coverage is. White has been thinking about the move he will make on a defender after catching a pass instead of concentrating on making the play first.

"I've got to turn my game around for our team to start playing better," White said. "I'm a leader on this team and I haven't been going out there and playing Roddy White football. I've got to get back to being myself. Just go out there and cut it loose and whatever happens happens."

The Falcons also need to get better production on the ground. A year after finishing last in rushing, they rank 20th, but they averaged just 66 yards in losses the last two weeks.

"Every week it seems like we take turns at different positions, you know, messing up the games and everything," White said. "All 11 guys have to go out there and just do their job. That's got to be our focus this week."

Notes: WR Devin Hester (hamstring) and linebacker Prince Shembo (knee) were limited in practice. ... LG Justin Blalock (back) and DT Jonathan Babineaux (knee) participated fully after being limited on Wednesday.

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