The Atlanta Falcons (0-1) will take a trip to the west coast this Sunday to take on the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams (0-1) in Sofi Stadium at 4:05 PM EST. Both teams coming off tough Week 1 losses will look to rebound this week and get in the win column.
The Rams, coming off a humbling 31-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills, will look to put that game behind them. The LA offense wasn’t able to get much going last week; committing 4 turnovers and only getting into the endzone once.
Matthew Stafford, coming off offseason elbow surgery, looked as if his elbow was still heavily affecting him as he threw three interceptions and also fumbled once. The backfield of Darrell Henderson Jr. and Cam Akers was essentially nonexistent, rushing 18 times for an average of 2.9 yards per carry. New addition, wide receiver Allen Robinson was invisible, only having one catch for 12 yards.
The Rams “star studded” defense looked mediocre; Jalen Ramsey allowed over 100 yards and two touchdowns; he also gave up a perfect passer rating when targeted. The Rams pass rush looked like they missed Von Miller, only sacking Josh Allen twice. The Rams offensive line also was very poor, after the losses of Andrew Whitworth and Austin Corbett, giving up seven sacks.
However, it wasn’t all bad for the Rams. Stafford threw for a solid 240 yards and a touchdown. Cooper Kupp picked up right where he left off after winning the receiving triple crown last year, reeling in 13 catches for 128 yards and a touchdown.
Newcomer and former All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner recorded seven tackles with a sack, and Aaron Donald also continued to wreak havoc recording one sack.
The Falcons coming off an embarrassing 4th quarter collapse in their 27-26 loss to the New Orleans Saints will look to shock the world this week against the Rams.
At least through the first three quarters, Atlanta looked very solid on both sides of the ball. Marcus Mariota completed 20 of his passes for 215 yards along with a rushing touchdown.
Cordarrelle Patterson had a career game rushing for 120 yards and a touchdown along with three catches for 16 yards. Rookie wide receiver Drake London fit right into the offense, hauling in 5 catches for 74 yards.
The offensive line played near perfectly, led by right guard Chris Lindstrom and the ascendance of right tackle Kaleb McGary. They didn’t allow a single sack and Mariota was only hit once.
Atlanta’s young defense showed flashes of being great. The pass rush looked very solid, led by Grady Jarrett and rookie Arnold Ebiketie, pressuring quarterback Jameis Winston much of the game and sacking him 4 times. Mykal Walker, who was given the play calling duty, played an amazing game racking up six tackles, one sack, and a forced fumble.
But, there were also many things that didn’t look so good for the Falcons.
Tight end Kyle Pitts, who was supposed to be the focal point of the offense, was very quiet with only 2 catches for 19 yards. 2021 All Pro AJ Terrell ,who didn’t allow a single touchdown last year, allowed two touchdowns to Michael Thomas. And Mariota’s good day was overshadowed by putting the ball on the turf twice in the fourth quarter, all of which led to the blown 4th quarter lead.
Atlanta Falcons vs. LA Rams GAME PREVIEW
The Falcons come into this week as 10-point underdog against the defending Super Bowl Champions Los Angeles Rams according to My Bookie.
The Rams will come into this game banged up. Center Brian Allen underwent a knee procedure and will miss 2-4 weeks. Wide receiver Van Jefferson, offensive tackle Joe Noteboom, and linebacker Leonard Floyd all appeared on their latest injury report. However, the Rams do believe Floyd and Noteboom will be good to go this week.
Mariota and the offense will face a tough Rams defense led by Ramsey and Donald. Although the Rams defense looked beatable last week, Mariota is no Josh Allen, and this offense is no way near the level of the Bills.
The Falcons will look to lean on Cordarrelle Patterson and continue their strong rushing attack from last week as they totaled over 200-total rushing yards. London will face one of the NFL’s top corners in Jalen Ramsey; the Falcons hope he can build off his strong week one performance and show he can put up numbers against the NFL’s top defensive back.
Expect Mariota to target Pitts often this week as he significantly outmatches his defensive matchup. The offensive line will have their work cut out for them this week as they face former Defensive Player of the Year Donald and Floyd.
Is the offensive line for year? Last week’s stellar performance by the offensive line will be tested heavily this week.
Defensively Terrell and cornerback Casey Hayward will have tough matchups in reigning Offensive Player of the Year Cooper Kupp and former Pro Bowler Allen Robinson.
Terrell vs. Kupp will be the matchup to look out for, All Pro vs All Pro. Kupp lines up in a variety of positions for the Rams. Will the Falcons try and match Terrell to Kupp no matter where he lines up, or will they stay in base coverage packages and roll a safety his direction?
The defensive line is facing a banged up and undermanned Rams offensive line. They should be able to create pressure and force Stafford to test the Falcons deep and talented secondary.
Walker and Rashaan Evans will be there to close up the run game that was essentially non existent last week for the Rams. Could rookie-linebacker Troy Andersen see more action in Week 2 after not seeing any defensive snaps last week?
For the Rams, they will most likely try to keep Kupp away from Terrell and Hayward as much as they can. He’ll see a ton of snaps from the slot where he can take advantage of the young safeties in Jaylinn Hawkins and Richie Grant.
The Rams will look to involve Robinson a lot more than last week, but he’ll face tough matchups every play in Terrell or Hayward.
Darrell Henderson Jr. and Cam Akers will be featured in the passing and running game and will try to have more of an impact. Matthew Stafford will look to have a bounce back game and prove he is still one of the NFL’s top Quarterbacks.
Atlanta Falcons vs. LA Rams GAME PREDICTION
The Rams were last in action on Thursday, October 8th and have had an extra-two days to prepare for the Falcons who make the long-road trip west.
In the end, the Rams will be able to pull away in this game. The Rams defense led by Ramsey and Donald should be able to contain Mariota and the offense. Matt Stafford and Cooper Kupp will have a bounce back performance and should be able to drive on this Falcons defense.
However, this game will be a lot closer than many people believe. The Falcons should be able to create pressure, and Mariota and the offense should be able to put up points.
Score Prediction: Rams 23 Falcons 17