Atlanta Falcons, Los Angeles Rams, NFL
(Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)

The defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons take on the much-improved Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Wild Card Playoffs.

 

Atlanta Falcons (10-6) at Los Angeles Rams (11-5)

History

  • Rams host Falcons for the second straight season as teams meet in the postseason for the second time.
  • Last season, Falcons came away with a 42-14 win at the L.A. Coliseum (Week 14) in the last meeting between these clubs.
  • Falcons have won four straight meetings in series dating back to ’08.
  • The second postseason meeting between teams (Falcons, 1-0), Falcons posted a 47-17 win in ’04 NFC Divisional Playoffs at Georgia Dome.

Coaches

  • Falcons’ head coach Dan Quinn: 2-1 in postseason play.
  • Rams’ head coach Sean McVay: making his first postseason appearance as NFL head coach.

Postseason History

  • Falcons: making 14th overall playoff appearance (14th since the merger), 9-13 in postseason play (9-13 since the merger).
  • Rams: making 28th overall playoff appearance (20th since the merger), 19-24 in postseason play (16-18 since the merger).

Atlanta Falcons

Falcons By The Numbers

  • 10-6 record, reached playoffs in ’17 (11-5, won NFC South, reached Super Bowl 51 in ’16).
  • QB Matt Ryan: 18 TD passes, seven INT, four lost fumbles, sacked 19 times in eight career playoff games (3-5) dating back to ’08; Ryan: 20 TD passes, 12 INT in 16 games in ’17 (38 TD passes, seven INT in 16 regular season games in ’16).
  • 18 turnovers in 16 games in ’17 (15 by Ryan; 12 INT, three lost fumbles); committed NFL-low 11 turnovers (tied with Patriots) in 16 regular season games in ’16.
  • 37 sacks in 16 games in ’17 (34 sacks in 16 regular season games in ’16; NFL-low 19 sacks in ’15).
  • Scored 273 points in 10 wins, 80 points in six losses in ’17.
  • Scored 353 points and 33 offensive TD in 16 games in ’17 (scored 540 points and 58 offensive TD in ’16).
  • Allowed 315 points and 31 offensive TD in 16 games in ’17 (allowed 406 points and allowed 46 offensive TD in ’16).
  • Allowed 22 TD passes in 16 games in ’17 (allowed 31 TD passes in ’16, allowed 19 TD passes in in ’15).
  • Falcons: outscored opposition 84-44 in the first quarter in 16 games in ’17.

Los Angeles Rams

Rams By The Numbers

  • 11-5 record, won NFC West in ‘17 (4-12 in ‘16).
  • RB Todd Gurley: 2,093 yards from scrimmage (1,305 rushing, 788 receiving), 19 TD in 15 games in ’17 (1,212 yards from scrimmage, six TD in 16 games in ‘16).
  • QB Jared Goff: 62.1 completion percentage, 3,804 passing yards, 28 TD passes, seven INT, sacked 25 times in 15 games in ’17 (54.6 completion percentage, 1,089 passing yards, five TD passes, seven INT, sacked 26 times in seven games in ’16).
  • Scored 478 points, 45 offensive TD in 16 games in ’17 (scored NFL-low 224 points, 23 offensive TD in ’16).
  • Allowed 28 sacks in 16 games in ’17 (allowed 49 sacks in ’16).
  • Allowed 224 points in last 12 games (allowed 105 points in first 4 games in ’17).
  • 28 takeaways in 16 games in ’17 (18 takeaways in ’16).

Things To Look For

The Atlanta Falcons are the only team from the NFC that was in the playoffs a year ago that is back in the postseason in ’17. It’s a club that isn’t nearly as prolific on offense but features a better defense. But back to that playoff note as the Los Angeles Rams are in this setting for the first time since 2004. Head coach Sean McVay has done an amazing job and running back Todd Gurley is a serious MVP candidate. But will the team’s lack of experience in the postseason come back to haunt them on Saturday night at the Coliseum?

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