St. Louis Rams just squeaked by week one by overcoming a 24-13 deficit against the Arizona Cardinals. The Rams have set themselves up in a good position starting out 1-0, but now the Rams have to go to Atlanta to play the Falcons who are considered one of the NFC’s top teams.
The Falcons have an incredible record at home since Matt Ryan arrived in Atlanta going a remarkable 33-7. The Falcons also have one of the league’s best offenses with Roddy White, Julio Jones, Tony Gonzalez, and you cant forget about ex-Ram Steven Jackson. All that may seem intimidating and at a first glance you may wonder how is it possible that the Rams are going to keep up? Well, let me tell you, they will keep up and they will win this football game.
The only things different between the Rams and the Falcons is the fact that the Rams are a young team still kind of finding out who they are, which in consequence brings mental errors and bonehead plays that leave you screaming at the TV. Young teams also tend to struggle traveling and playing on the road. The Falcons on the other hand are a veteran group that more times than not, play smart football and have the experience factor over the Rams. Those two things are the only things the Falcons have going for them against this Rams group.
The Falcons may have a lot of weapons, but right now, they are still trying to find out how to put all the pieces together and work out the bugs. This was proven last week when the Falcons only managed to score 17 points against a Saints defense, which frankly isnt all that great. It doesnt help that Roddy White isnt 100% and is limited in what he can do, big advantage Rams. The Saints caused problems for the Falcons all afternoon, constantly getting pressure on Matt Ryan and sacking him three times. Imagine the damage Chris Long, Michael Brockers, and Robert Quinn are going to do. The defense could give Matt Ryan headaches all day, and if they do that, the Rams could just make some noise and come out with the upset.
Sam Bradford will have another nice day as well as the Falcons allowed Drew Brees to throw for 357 yards and only sacked him once. Bradford might not get those numbers, but he will find success through the air. The Falcons secondary allowed five receptions of 20+ yards, and one that went for 67 yards to wide receiver Kenny Stills. Last week Jared Cook had three 20+ yard receptions himself. Cook might not have the same success, but Chris Givens might. Givens was limited last week by Patrick Peterson, but he and Bradford could breakout here in week two, they definitely proved they were capable of connecting deep last year and did so multiple times in the preseason.
Some things that the Rams will have to change however are, the style of defense they play and self inflicted mistakes. Last week against the Cardinals the Rams secondary were giving the Cardinals wide receivers a ridiculous amount of cushion. I guarantee you that if the Rams do that this week against Matt Ryan and the Falcons, Ryan will shred the secondary, Julio Jones will have a monster day, and even a limited Roddy White may find success. The Rams need to challenge the Falcons receivers at the line. The Rams also have to limit the self inflicted wounds such as penalties and turnovers. The Falcons are a good enough team as it is, they dont need any extra help.
Many are overlooking the Rams in this matchup, I mean they are only the Rams, and they are playing the Falcons. Jeff Fisher wont let his team stand in awe of the Falcons and will have them prepared to go into the same place where they won the Super Bowl and come out with a win.The Rams may have caught the Falcons at the perfect time, the aren’t yet in midseason form, and they are dealing with some injuries. If the Rams started 2-0 with a win on the road against a tough Falcons team, they would be in a great position to make a run at a playoff spot.
We are going to find a lot out about the Rams this week in terms of where they stand with the top teams in the league. Even if the Rams don’t win, but manage stick with the Falcons and go punch for punch, many would be impressed and give the Rams some credit, but if the Rams came out with a win and the upset, people just might start to turn their heads.