Brought to you by: Big Shucks
By Zach Walker
Atlanta Falcons vs Los Angeles Rams
Saturday – January 6 – 7:15 p.m.
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – Los Angeles – CA
The Atlanta Falcons
Their Biggest Weapon: Coming in HOT
The Falcons have had to win, and continue to win to keep the peering eyes of Seattle, Detroit, and Dallas clutching at hope and fearing a failure. The Falcons were in the playoffs since early December and haven’t tripped thus far, going through each of their opponents with a way that is exciting to watch a hungry team get after it. The Dan Quinn defense has only allowed opponents to reach twenty points twice since Thanksgiving, and it’s a truly solid unit. The guys upfront: Vic Beasley, Adrian Clayborn, and Grady Jarrett make it an easier matchup for the secondary in Robert Alford and Desmond Trufant. And down the barrel, Deion Jones at linebacker and the hammer at safety Keanu Neal. The way that Neal will play Todd Gurley is the key to the Falcons on defense.
Their Most Glaring Flaw: How Special are they really?
The Falcons have Julio Jones. It’s where teams start their gameplanning, and as they wrap-up their prep they must double check what they think he’s going to do. Julio Jones can ravage a secondary, but beyond Julio Jones, what is it that really turns up the heat. Devonta Freeman is a good back, that is dangerous in space, and Mohamed Sanu is a solid compliment to Jones, but the Falcons don’t go really deep with dangerous options.
The Los Angeles Rams
Their Biggest Weapon: Todd Gurley
As a person who rode the wave of these Rams all the way to fantasy gold, this is my team for the west coast. Jared Goff has looked extremely poised, and that’s no accident nor is it rare growth. The Rams went out and found a coach to bring along their first overall quarterback, and the match has yielded beautiful playoff results. The Rams have also stocked the pantry for Goff to throw at. They had Tavon Austin, but grabbed Cooper Kupp, to work in and out. They brought in Sammy Watkins for some big play ability, but drafted Josh Reynolds too. They have given him two tight ends, Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett. All those pieces, and then add a running back who can go for 200 all-purpose yards a game, and it might be easier for him to achieve than any other back in the league. Todd Gurley accounts for the biggest percentage of offense gained by any player in the NFL. Gurley is both the hammer and the nail.
Their Most Glaring Flaw: Their Collective Playoff Inexperience
For as new and exciting as the Rams will find the playoffs, they don’t have many players who’ve been here before. Compound the new-ness with most of the players to the show, they had a significant number of players to sit in their finale against San Francisco, which isn’t common practice anymore, but that still happened. The ace up the sleeve for the Rams is defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. He’s been in this situation before, actually there aren’t many situations that’ll the Rams could be thrust into that he hasn’t seen in the NFL. He’s got pieces that’ll need his guidance, and he’s got Aaron Donald, so that doesn’t hurt.
Atlanta hasn’t been blowing it out on offense, they’ve basically played just well enough to win, and that will not be enough to beat these Rams.
Rams 35 – Falcons 21