The Falcons needed this win, and they damn sure played like they knew it. With their eighth victory, they tied their win total from the 2015 season.
Atlanta wound up turning this one into a rout at halftime, and turning it into a mega rout before the fourth quarter started, as they were up 42-0 at that point. While the Rams managed to get on the board, all the nerves I felt over this team being depleted and on the road evaporated pretty early, and Atlanta did exactly what they should against a vastly inferior opponent. It was fun to watch.
Here’s a quarter-by-quarter breakdown of the game.
The Rams started the game by fumbling the kickoff, and the Falcons threw a three yard touchdown pass on the next play, giving them a 7-0 lead right off the bat. That’s exactly what they needed.
The next drive saw the Rams driving down the field, fans grumbling, and....AN INTERCEPTION. Ricardo “Pickardo” Allen came down with the ball, and the Falcons had an opportunity to score they just couldn’t capitalize on, as they swiftly stalled out on a three and out. That meant Los Angeles had a chance to tie the game.
The Rams responded in extremely Rams fashion, by tossing three passes and picking up just eight yards. The Falcons followed that up by once again going three and out, with Devonta Freeman coming up just short of a first.
On the next Rams drive (yes, we’re still in the first quarter), Vic Beasley picked up his 11.5th sack of the year, and the Rams swiftly punted again.
THEN THE FALCONS HAD THE BALL BACK, and they actually did something with it.
To start the second quarter, the Falcons managed a touchdown pass to Tevin Coleman, which put them up by two scores. At this point, we were all feeling pretty good.
The Rams helped by futzing around and failing yet again, giving the Falcons a fresh set of downs to try to put the game permanently out of reach. They could not do so, and the Falcons couldn’t either.
Then the scoring began anew with Deion Jones getting a pick six off of Jared Goff, putting the Falcons up 21-0. The Rams (and then the Falcons) once again got nothing going, which gave the Rams one more chance with the quarter winding down.
Just kidding! They stalled out, the Falcons stalled out, and the Rams couldn’t score before the half. That meant the Falcons were up 21-0 at halftime.
Atlanta’s decision to defer and take the field first on defense wound up benefitting them at the start of the second half, as they scored swiftly on a 64 yard touchdown pass to Taylor Gabriel. That meant the Falcons were up 28-0.
The Rams couldn’t get anything going on their next drive past a certain point, and Courtney Upshaw forced (and recovered) a fumble that gave Atlanta the ball back yet again. They immediately capitalized (okay, not immediately) with a Tevin Coleman touchdown, putting them up 35-0.
On the next drive, Vic Beasley got his third sack of the game, forcing a fumble and returning it for a touchdown, which put the Falcons up 42-0.
The Rams responded with a drive...
...and scored three seconds into the fourth quarter. That made it 42-7, and the rout was only sort of on at that point.
Atlanta promptly wound up punting the ball back and didn’t do much with it, leaning on backups to get them to the end of the game. Even with starters in, the Rams couldn’t do much of anything, and the game basically turned into a meaningless puntfest from there. The Rams got another garbage time touchdown to make the proceedings look more respectable, but the truth is that Atlanta simply dominated this one, and the final score was 42-14.