Falcons vs. Rams final score: Atlanta holds on to win 31-24

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons are no longer defeated. It was a stressful afternoon, but Atlanta emerged the victor at the Georgia Dome.

The Atlanta Falcons relied on the passing game to pick up their first win of the season, defeating the St. Louis Rams 31-24 in Week 2. Injuries, play-calling and poor tackling became issues for the Falcons at times throughout the afternoon, but they managed to hang on to improve to 1-1.

After taking a 24-3 lead just seconds before halftime, the Rams eventually battled back within a single touchdown. The Falcons defense looked sharp early on, but they couldn't get Sam Bradford off the field in the second half. Several consecutive punts from the offense didn't exactly give Mike Nolan's squad time to rest, though.

While there are still problems on both sides of the ball, it's a win.

First impression

The Falcons looked outstanding in the first half, going up 21-0 at one point and, once again, looking like cruise control was about to be turned on. But that 2 o'clock feeling hit and ruined everything. The Rams fought back to bring it to a one-score game in the fourth quarter.

Injuries certainly played a factor, but the Falcons looked sluggish out of the gates in the second half. The third quarter continues to be their kryptonite. Aggression subsided as St. Louis worked its way back.

Matt Ryan still doesn't have much time to throw. Sacked twice, hit eight by the Rams. The line has to play better. There's no solution right now.

Highlights

- Steven Jackson opened up the scoring with an 8-yard touchdown reception with 8:42 to play in the first quarter.

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- Julio Jones broke away for an 81-yard score towards the end of the first quarter (shown in the article's featured picture). It was a thing of beauty.

- Osi Umenyiora put the Falcons up 21-0 with a career highlight:

- William Moore put a hit on Sam Bradford in the red zone that will likely make him rethink running the ball again. And he showed off his WWE moves.

- Jason Snelling scored an 11-yard touchdown to give Atlanta a 31-17. His burst up the middle made me wonder why they don't play him more.

- Injuries were abundant to say the least. Kroy Biermann, Asante Samuel, Sean Weatherspoon, Steven Jackson, Bradie Ewing and Cliff Matthews all left the game.

- The young guns stood out again. Joplo Bartu made several big plays in the backfield.

It was over when...

Ryan converted a short pass to Snelling on third-and-1 with just minutes to go in the fourth quarter. The game didn't feel close in the first half, but after another Tavon Austin touchdown to make it a 31-24 game, this play sealed the deal.

MVP

I'm giving this one to Julio Jones. Monster performance.

Receptions Yards TDs Long Targets
Jones 11 182 1 81 14

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How'd you feel about the first win of the season?

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