The Falcons now stand at 7-2 atop of the NFC as we take on the Rams on the road so we bring you officially our 4th post in our Best Case/Worst Case evaluation of this week’s matchup. Show us some love and rec both of our posts.
This is the 2nd part of Turner_The_Burner's post Best Case Scenario vs. Rams. See it here
Flipping it to the Rams
As it has been said here I’m going to play the devils advocate here and speak about where the Rams can hurt us bad. Now that we have beaten one of our toughest challenges in the Ravens, this game could turn into a trap game. So the worst case scenario for the Falcons is – Steven Jackson rolls, they pressure Matty Ice and they win the Time of Possession.
Steven Jackson Rolls: Steven Jackson is a very good running back and the Rams run their offense through him. He is the 8th in the League in yards per game and 3rd in attempts per game. They run the ball a lot and Jackson is experienced at doing it. Jackson may be passed his 2006 ways but he is still a threat and our 7th ranked rush defence will have their hands full.
If ‘Spoon comes back this week it will help our run defence as with his improved pass coverage skills, we can put more pressure on stopping Jackson. Our front 7 has been very good in stopping the run with Lofton being solid, Abraham becoming a decent run stopper and Babineaux being the consistent plug he is, should do a good job of shutting down Jackson, however he will be the toughest back in terms of production this year since Frank Gore.
They pressure Matty Ice: We all know how great Ryan can be, take the last drive against the Ravens, or the Bears game in 08, or this year’s 49ers game, or even this years Saints overtime victory. Ice has been on
fire cool, in many games and situations this year. However when he gets pressure he panics and makes the majority of his mistakes.
Matt Ryan is currently has a passer rating of 91.9 recently passing Matt Schaub, Aaron Rodgers and best of all Drew Brees. Ryan has only thrown 5 picks and 16 touchdowns and his current form is his best to date. However he has done this through being calm, collected and accurate… this goes out the window when he has a linebacker in his face. Unfortunately for us the Rams have the best team at getting to the QB with 28 sacks on the year. They have an impressive line with James Hall, a beast at RE, and Chris Long a very solid LE and Fred Robbins (currently listed as questionable) who is as productive as our Babineaux. The power of the line combined with solid linebackers, headlined by James Laurinaitis, who is almost as scary as Lofton, gives me chills. The resemblance of the Rams front 7 to our front 7 is uncanny, I could do a full break down but I may leave that for another time. The point I am making is that the Rams have a very good front 7 who stop the run well and also get to the QB often. Matt Ryan will have a tough time staying on his feet and if he isn’t sacked a couple times he may make a few rushed throws. This is where Matt Ryan needs to show us that he can be calm and collected against the best pass rush, so when Green Bay visits we will be slightly less fearful of Clay Matthews.
They win the Time of Possession: Time of Possession always struck me as a useless stat. That was until this year, the Falcons are based around using T.O.P to their advantage and keeping long sustained drives going. This has worked time and time again as it allows us to score and to give the ball back with little time remaining. What is noteworthy is our ability to have both quick and long drives depending on how time permits. We have had some incredibly long drives this year, some lasting more than 10 minutes and, as we saw against the Ravens, some lasting less than a minute.
In fact, in both of the games we lost, our opponents had greater T.O.P. and the only games in which we won and didn’t have the majority of the ball was against San Francisco and the Bengals. I think that if we have T.O.P we have a lot better of a chance of winning as we can use the ball effectively. But the Rams also have used T.O.P. effectively for this year and overall their average T.O.P isn’t much less than the Falcons, this could be close.
However with the matchup for the rams I like our chances of maintaining possession. There pass attack is stricken with injuries and is very young, so that will help our lower ranked pass defence and our run defence is very effective and hopefully will be able to halt Steven Jackson. These favourable matchups allow us a grater chance at 3 and outs, more of those means more time for Falcons on the field which leads to more points.
I apologize for the lateness of this part of our analysis. Hopefully you can forgive me and we can go back to being friends. Good luck to the Falcons and I hope they get a comfortable win to keep on their winning ways.