|Posted by Radatz on January 7, 2018 at 12:40 AM|
ATL 26 LAR 13:
The Rams got off to a fatally slow 13-0 start and couldn't manage more than a tie the rest of the way despite what seemed to be better opportunities than the Falcons got.
Gurley ran for 101 but was largely ineffective, most of his output coming on a couple of big runs. Watkins was useless. Woods was magnificent until the end when he wasn't. Goff looked like a kid with potential but was ineffective at the end, his receivers partially to blame. Ryan, meanwhile, wasn't spectacular but was a far more efficient veteran. His decisions looked superior.
Quinn was his usual tactical disaster, calling a timeout that nearly put his team behind at the half, but coached his team up well at halftime. The Rams had some momentum entering the break but never really got it back. In summary, Atlanta looked more poised and the anticipated breakdown didn't happen, though the Rams' inability to put together any consistent offensive thrust based largely on bad execution and questionable play calling helped. Atlanta's final scoring drive, way to easy on what was supposed to be a great defense, eliminated any real chance of the anticipated Falcon fold at the end, something that looked before halftime like it was already happening.
In summary the Rams looked more like their beatable selves of the last 2 weeks than like the team that was rolling at midseason. Perhaps it was inexperience. And so Atlanta remains in the hunt, as will one more NFCS squad regardless of tomorrow's outcomes.
Officiating didn't seem to be a big problem. I recall Hock announcing a D-hold on Atlanta before the pass and saying "the ball was in the air" to myself. Moments later they had corrected the call! Modern NFL officiating has made Hock look good... probably one reason he gets so much flak. Doesn't play the game.
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