Rams trail Falcons 19-10 in fourth quarter

Lawrence Cooper
January 7, 2018

This will be the fourth playoff matchup between these two teams and the first since the Eagles won the 2004 NFC Championship at the Linc to advance to Super Bowl XXXIX. But what makes them even more risky now is the way the defense has played. He finished with four tackles and half a sack, but even when he was not in on a play, he usually affected it.

They had to settle for field goals on four of six scoring drives.

Here's how the Falcons got it done. But here's the catch: The Eagles are without quarterback Carson Wentz, the guy most considered the MVP front-runner before he went down with a season-ending ACL injury. Gurley finished with 101 yards on 14 carries, though 61 yards came in the fourth quarter. But Goff relies on the ability to hit Gurley with short passes to keep the offense moving, and the Falcons took Gurley essentially out of the passing game.

The touchdown reception was the seventh for Jones in eight postseason games. Woods, who is only 25, was electric on Saturday with nine catches for 142 yards. The sixth-seeded Falcons, who improved to 11-6 with the win, never trailed against the Rams.

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The Falcons know they can outscore anyone despite seeing more than a 10-point drop-off in their scoring average from a year ago. The speed Dan Quinn has installed on defense showed up big on Saturday. The touchdown was overturned on review. The strategy let the Falcons dominate time of possession, 37 minutes 34 seconds compared with 22:26 for Los Angeles. Deion Jones knocked down Goff's pass that was intended for Sammy Watkins, pretty much locking it up for the Falcons. Leading the charge was Aaron Donald. And the best way to slow down that pressure is to establish a ground game.

Los Angeles would get on the scoreboard in the second quarter when quarterback Jared Goff would find Cooper Kupp for a touchdown, then get to within a field goal when Sam Ficken connected on a field goal just before halftime, cutting the Falcons lead to 13-10.

The Rams went 11-5 to win the NFC West for the first time since 2003.

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