Win and you’re IN! That’s exactly what The Atlanta Falcons did this past Sunday back at home in the Mercedes Benz stadium closing out the regular season against the Carolina Panthers. The Seattle Seahawks fell to the Arizona Cardinals taking them out of playoff contention and with The Falcons winning they now have the last seed Wild Card Spot.
The Falcons have a formidable opponent and a tall order and task in facing the third seed LA Rams on the road. The great news is that The Falcons have done well on the road this season. They also are the lone team in the NFC with back to back appearances in the playoffs since last season. The Falcons know exactly what’s at stake and exactly what they need to do…which is execute!
In the last contest between the two teams The Falcons won 41-14 in LA in 2016. Here’s a look at how The Falcons stack up against The Rams and the Key Matchups for this Wildcard Round:
The Rams have a gem, in his third season with the Rams, a local favorite Todd Gurley. His late season MVP Campaign is not a fluke. Gurley led the NFC in combined rushing and receiving yards in the regular season boasting 2,093 yards and 19 touchdowns. The Falcons run defense has gotten better and better over the season but they will have their hands full with Gurley.
The Falcons offense has seemingly sputtered at times this season, but still they possess many talented weapons to boot. Expect to see a lot of down field passes to the Falcons receivers led by Julio Jones.
The Falcons run game vs The Rams run defense will be an interesting one to watch. The Falcons much like the Rams would be best suited getting their run attack going early with their two-headed monster in Freeman and Coleman. The Rams were tied for 24th place in the NFL allowing 119 yards per game. They were also 30th in rushing yards per play giving up an average of 4.62 yards per carry. The Falcons offense is at its best when the run game is established opening up room for more play-action passing plays. Look for Atlanta to give the Rams a heavy dose of their run game early.
It’s a very good matchup for two very good teams!