The Atlanta Falcons have gone from competing in the Super Bowl to fighting for their life in the Wild Card. They take on the Los Angeles Rams at 8:15 PM ET so don’t miss this match.
What a difference a year makes. The Atlanta Falcons, once a high soaring, high scoring offensive threat, barely made the 2017-18 NFL playoffs. It’s not going to get any easier for Matt Ryan, 32, and the rest of the Dirty Birds, as they’re taking on a shockingly good Los Angeles Rams team in the NFC Wildcard round. If they manage to somehow get by LA, them they’ll have to go mano y mano (or in this case, wing vs wing) with the Philadelphia Eagles. It’s not impossible for the Falcons to return to the Super Bowl, but it’s not going to be easy.
Speaking of which, give it up for the Rams. In a single year, Los Angeles went from being ranked dead last in the NFL in scoring in 2016. Then, in the first year under the guidance of head coach Sean McVay, the Rams have scored more points than any other team in the league, according to CBS Sports. The change also revamped Todd Gurley, as the running back went from a measly 3.2 yards per carry to leading the NFL in yards from scrimmage while scoring 19 touchdowns. The same transformation turned Jared Goff, into a legit threat. Though he stumbled in his rookie season, he’s improved – considerably. This season, he’s thrown 28 touchdowns (up from 5 from last season) and finished the regular season with a 100.5 rating, up from 63.6.
While the Falcons are viewed as an underdog – as Devonta Freeman, Julio Jones, and Alex Mack will play, despite being banged up by lingering injuries – they come into this game having played the second-most total playoff games of any team in the NFC field, according to USA Today. The Rams have the fewest, 21 to Atlanta’s 143 (only the Carolina Panthers, at 187, have more.) Will this experience help? Or will this stat just be something cute that Falcons fans tell each other as the Rams go on to the next round? There’s only one way to find out.
Do you think the Rams will go on to the Super Bowl, HollywoodLifers? Or do you think Atlanta will return to avenge their loss?