The Rams lose 24 – 31 to the Falcons. This game was really the tale of 2 halves. The Falcons dominated in the first half and then the Rams came back and made a game of it in the second. In yesterday’s article previewing today’s game I mentioned keys to the Rams success…
1 The Rams have to eliminate post contact yards gained. They need to stop the rusher/receiver at the point of contact and not allow additional yards – to be perfectly honest, I’m not sure about this one (it was pretty distracting at times in the sports bar). My assumption, based upon WR Julio Jones gaining 182 yards off of 11 receptions, is there were some missed tackles.
2 The Rams O-line had to do a good job protecting Sam Bradford from the Falcons defense. Bradford was sacked zero times so we’d have to call that a success.
3 Our young skill players have to make big plays. For the most part I think that happened. WR Austin Pettis contributed a TD reception, WR Tavon Austin added 2 more, and WR Givens had a Rams long catch of 47 yards. TE Jared Cook was a no show today and I count that as one of the top reasons why we lost. The Rams need him to show up in a big way in every game.
4 Rams defensive secondary not getting burned – The Falcons average yards per catch was 8.7 yards while the Rams only achieved 6.2. Overall, I’d have to call that a loss. Last week Rams WR Cook had a monster game; this week the Rams secondary gave a monster game to Falcons WR Jones who came away with 11 catchs for 182 yards, a game long 81 yard catch, and a TD.
5 Rams’ defensive line has to get a lot of pressure on QB Matt Ryan – the Rams did sack Ryan twice which cost the Falcons 17 yards. The pressure was there at times, but it turned out not to be enough.
Going into half time the Rams were down 24-3. That’s a semmingly insurmountable deficit, but the Rams came out of the locker room a different team. We scored 3 touch downs to the Falcons 1 in the second half. With just under 2 minutes remaining the Rams had just scored the 3 TD and moved to within 7 point of the Falcons (24-31). My first thought was “go for it”. Let’s break out the on-side kick, but Coach Fisher elected to put the fate of the game in the hands of the Rams defense. If they could hold the Falcons to 3 and out, we could get the ball back with maybe a minute and a half and a timeout or 2 remaining. That would have been plenty of time to make a final push and take the game to OT.
Since we lost the game Fisher’s call ended up being the wrong one. The Rams were not able to shutdown the Falcons offense and never touched the ball again. Total time of possession for the Rams: 29:43 minutes. Time of posession for the Falcons: 30:17 minutes. The outcome of the game came down to those 34 diferential seconds.
The loss gives the Rams a 2013 season record of 1-1. However, I’m guessing that with such a strong finish against such a tough opponent, we will be moving up the power ranking chart this week. Next week we take on the Dallas Cowboys in Texas. See you then Rams fans! G o Rams!!!