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Predicting our way through the Falcons season: Week 2 @ Rams

One of the hardest matchups on the entire schedule comes early.

Los Angeles Rams v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

The Falcons’ season is a few months away, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to look at the schedule and try to figure out how this year is going to go. To that end, we’re taking a game-by-game trip through the 2022 slate and trying to figure out whether the Falcons win or lose each week.

We kicked things off with the Saints, where Adnan Ikic and I were the only ones full of love and optimism enough to predict a win. Now we turn to Week 2, where the difficulty (at least on paper) ratchets up quite a bit. That’s because Atlanta is headed to Los Angeles to face the defending Super Bowl champion Rams, who return most of the roster that got them all the way to a championship. Can the Falcons pull off a stunning upset, or are they doomed against one of the best teams in football?

Read on for our predictions, and then share yours.

Falcons 17 - Rams 31

Here’s the thing: This is not the Falcons team that was horrendous in every game against legitimate contenders a year ago. However, this is also not a Falcons team that is massively improved in comparison to the 2021 edition, and especially early on as they’re finding their footing, the Rams are a rough matchup. They are stacked with talent, have a stellar coaching staff, and will be home in this one.

I think the Falcons can surprise and keep this a bit closer than anticipated, but it’s difficult for me to see any way they get a win unless injuries wreak havoc on the Rams this summer. Even keeping it close seems dubious at this point, but we’ll hope a strong summer makes this prediction seem overly pessimistic. -Dave Choate

Falcons 13 - Rams 37

There are good ways and bad ways to start off a rebuilding season. Game 2 against the Super Bowl champions in Los Angeles is, in fact, a very bad way to start off the rebuild. The Rams are one of the best teams in the league while the Falcons are unsure if it will start a mid-round rookie or a journeyman at quarterback. The Falcons could surprise here by keeping the score closer than expected, but we are more likely to see the Rams sitting important starters later in the game and Atlanta walking away with some garbage time points. This is a rough start to what should be a rough season. - Matt Chambers

Falcons 17 - Rams 35

This is a ridiculously tough Week 2 matchup for the Falcons, who kick off a two-week West Coast road trip with a visit to the defending Super Bowl-champion Rams. Los Angeles matches up extremely well with Atlanta on paper, featuring one of the best defenses in the NFL and a dynamic offense that can beat you in multiple ways. I do think Atlanta’s defense will be better this season, but stopping the Rams’ attack is a whole different story. This is a game that could be somewhat close early, but I expect the floodgates to open after halftime. I just don’t trust this Falcons’ offensive line to keep Mariota/Ridder upright through four quarters. -Kevin Knight

Falcons 13 - Rams 30

This is one of the toughest games on the schedule for Atlanta. Coming off of what will likely be a highly emotional Week 1 matchup against the Saints, the Falcons will have to fly cross country for a road game against the defending Super Bowl champions, who by the way will have an extra three days of rest after playing on the opening Thursday in Week 1. Super Bowl hangovers are real, but I think the talent gap in this matchup is too wide for that to come into play. Aaron Donald will likely ravage the interior of Atlanta’s offensive line, and I don’t see the Falcons defense having the horses to deal with all of the weapons flanking Matthew Stafford on the other side of the ball. - Adnan Ikic