To a lot of people this seems like an instant loss for the Rams. There are tons of mismatches that we probably can't overcome. Even though our defense has been a pleasant surprise so far this year, we haven't faced an offense yet like this. Stopping Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, Roddy White, AND Tony Gonzalez seems near impossible. Ther are a couple ways we could stop them though. Our offense will also have to finally step up because we might have to score more than 30 for the first time this season.
Stopping Michael Turner
Looking at stats, this would probably be the least concern. Our defense is only giving up 98 yds. rushing a game. However, Michael Turner is an animal. He's big, strong, and has deceptive speed in the open field. He also has the tendency to turn what looks like a no-gainer or a 1-2 yard gainer into 10,15, and 20 yard gains. Our OLB's will have to contain the outside run to the point of it being non-existent. Our defense as a whole will also need to stop HB screens as they've been killing us all season.
Predicted Stats-Rushing 80-95yds. 1TD Receiving 3 rec. 20-35ds.
Stopping Roddy White
If you saw the Thursday night game last week, you saw a perfect example of how physical of a receiver Roddy White is. He isn't that tall (6'0) and isn't really big (212lbs.) but he has leaping ability and has great hands. Ron Bartell will have a hard time keeping up with him as well because he has an extremely quick release off the line. On third and longs, if there are any, he should most likely be double covered. Also having a CB covering underneath throws would have to keep him deep. From what Iv'e seen of Roddy, about 4 out of 10 times he's running a sort of deep slant or a deep in. Our LB's should be watching this heavily. His deep routes SHOULD be taken away by double covering him but knowing our secondary and our luck, it probably won't matter.
Predicted Stats- 7 rec. 80-105 yds 1TD
Stopping Matt Ryan
Matt Ryan, if he isn't already, is going to be considered an elite QB soon. He's very accurate, doesn't make many mistakes, and can extend plays sort of the same way Sam Bradford does. If you don't get to him, He's gonna find somebody open. He's only been sacked 15 times this season. I believe we can stop him though. Chris Long and James Hall HAVE to have a huge presence in this game. Sam Baker, the LT for the Falcons, is a very underrated lineman. James Hall will have to rush aggressively the entire game. If you get to Matt Ryan he still has a little quickness in the pocket to avoid the sack. Grabbing helplessly at his ankles and arms like scared children won't do anything. Also Bradley Fletcher will have to have career game against Michael Jenkins and Harry Douglas. Bradley has a tendency to get beat to the inside but he's great downfield. Also if you are getting to Matt Ryan, Tony Gonzalez would have to be covered pretty tightly. Na'il Diggs doesn't have much speed so he'll need to be physical when Tony comes off the line.
Predicted Stats- 20-25 Comp. 30-40 Att. 200-290 yds.
Sam should have an easy time finding Danny open, everyone else there's a little bit of doubt. Curtis Lofton, the MLB for ATL , is pretty good in coverage so Sam will probably have a hard time finding anything open over the middle. Brandon Gibson, who seems to be pretty good when he;s running comeback routes, will have to know that you need to go FORWARD to get first downs. He should be open alot depending on who's covering him. Hopefully DX is healthy enough to play this week. If he is, we should take the same approach we took in the Chargers game with him. William Moore tends to get beat by the long ball which is what DX is good at. Our screen game has to be a main feature in this game as the Falcons don't have much speed on the outside from what Iv'e seen. These screens will need to go to somebody like Mardy Gilyard though as I'm sure he knows how to do that by now. He has the quickness and elusiveness to turn these screens into big gains. SJ needs to be catching screens to.
Predicted Passing Stats- 20-30 Comp. 35-40 Att. 190-240 yds.
Even though SJ is the monster he is, he hasn't been scaring anyone this season. He HAS to gain over 100 yards this Sunday. Curtis Lofton is gonna be on his back all day. We also need to try more outside runs. When we do run to the outside, it seems like SJ only cuts upfield if there is perfect blocking. He needs to realize that our line thinks your supposed to let the D-line run push you into the RB. We also need to try some misdirection and tosses more, which Frank Gore gashed us on during a couple plays last week.
Predicted Rushing Stats- 20-30 Att. 85-110 yds.
Predicted Score STL-28 ATL-31
Hopefully we can pull off the upset, and we can depending on if we can finally figure out how to catch the deep ball, get some good outside runs, the defense doesn't blow any coverages, stops the deep ball, doesn't drop picks, and just good luck in general. IF luck does come our way on Sunday i see the score being something like this ATL- 21 STL-24.