The (10-6) Atlanta Falcons will travel to Los Angeles to face the (11-5) Rams, Saturday night at 8:15, on NBC TV. The Rams exceeded all expectations by winning their division for the first time since 2003. The Falcons coming off a devastating Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots, have had an up and down season. At times during the year, it was almost as if the Falcons still had a “Super Bowl hangover” and did not have a second or third gear. With all that said, this could be the most excited playoff game of the weekend.
Falcons on Offense:
Last Season, quarterback Matt Ryan won the NFL’s MVP award. in 2017, he threw for 4,095 yards (ranked 6th), 20 passing TD’s (ranked 17th) and had 12 interceptions. Other than the Georgia Bulldogs college football team, who have Sony Michel and Nick Chubb in their backfield, The Falcons have the best 1-2 running back combination in football. Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman rushed for over 1,400 yards, caught 63 balls out of the backfield and had 15 total touchdowns. Julio Jones continues to be one of the most dangerous wide receivers in the NFL. He had 88 catches for over 1,400 yards. Mohamed Sanu led the team with 5 touchdown receptions.
Falcons on Defense:
The Falcons ranked 10th overall in total defense, 13th against the pass and 10th against the rush. Atlanta had 39 sacks on the year, led by Adrian Clayborn and Vic Beasely Jr. and Takkarist McKinley who had 20.5 between the trio. They have played much better of late, over the last 5 games they have allowed 14, 17, 23 and 10 points.
Rams on Offense:
The Rams finished the season ranked #1 in points per game (29.88). Jared Goff threw for 3,804 yards and had 28 touchdown passes which ranked 5th amongst NFL QB’s. Todd Gurley finished 2nd in the league with 1305 rushing yards, 2nd in receiving yards with 788 and 19 total touchdowns which was ranked 1st for running backs. Gurely should win the MVP. WR’s Sammy Watkins and Cooper Kupp had 13 touchdown receptions combined. Watkins, when motivated, is the ultimate deep threat.
Rams on Defense:
LA had 48 sacks on the season, that was 4th in the NFL. Robert Quinn and Aaron Donald had 19.5 of those. They had 18 interceptions and recovered 10 fumbles. This team can put pressure on the quarterback and cause turnovers throughout the game.
For years I have been begging the Rams to fire their former head coach Jeff Fisher. In 22 years on the sideline had head 6 winning seasons. 1st year head coach Sean McVay has done a masterful job of getting this team to play to their protentional and he’s only 31 years old. I think the Rams run Gurley all night on Saturday and that will open the passing game.
Take the Rams 37-24 over the Falcons.
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