NFL Wild Card Preview: Falcons at Rams

07 Января, 2018, 07:23 | Author: Laura Christensen

Atlanta let an early double-digit lead slip away before holding on at the Los Angeles Coliseum, setting up a showdown with the Philadelphia Eagles in next week's NFC divisional round.

The Falcons are back for their first postseaon game since that memorable Super Bowl loss.

Los Angeles trimmed the lead to 19-13 with 10:49 to play, but the Falcons made another drive highlighted by that handsome screen pass from a blitz-avoiding Bryant to Sanu. After Bryant's second field goal later in the quarter, Cooper got stripped by Damontae Kazee during a kickoff return at the Rams 32, and the Falcons drove for Freeman's short TD run.

The touchdown reception was the seventh for Jones in eight postseason games. The Falcons are a wild-card team.

Jared Goff made a few fantastic throws, but he was wildly inconsistent. If the Rams can get Todd Gurley going like they have and take pressure off the 2nd-year QB they can get that high-power attack cranking like they did most of the season. If this game wasn't in Southern California, the Rams would definitely have a harder time. The Rams Pro Bowl running back finished the season on an absolute tear, racking up more than 450 total yards and six touchdowns in Weeks 15 and 16. Cooper bobbled several other kicks as jitters were clearly a factor.

The Falcons defense is much improved this season.

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Matt Ryan took a step back from last year's MVP performance. The fourth-year defensive tackle from Pitt was a disruptive force on almost every play. "We knew the physicality of style we wanted to play, so I definitely had an eye on him and looked at him and evaluated him". Once that pain subsides, it'll give way to all the bright spots from the 2017 season and an optimism that should see the Rams as the prohibitive favorites in the NFC West and a legit Super Bowl contender.

Atlanta needed a victory against the Carolina Panthers last week to secure the final NFC playoff berth and officially knock the Seahawks out of contention.

Los Angeles now has the highest-scoring offense in the National Football League, and Goff is the one with the higher passer rating, more touchdowns and fewer interceptions. They also have an MVP candidate in running back Todd Gurley, who led the National Football League with 2,093 yards from scrimmage to go with 19 touchdowns during the regular season.

Former Buffalo Bills receivers Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins have found a home in Los Angeles. Jones had nine catches for 94 yards.

The Falcons also released their official injury report late Friday evening and that club reported all of its players as available for Saturday.

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