In how to beat the Eagles. They just executed the game plan while the Rams could not. But make no mistake, the Falcons barely got out of that game alive.
Here are my observations and comparisons to the Rams...
1. While the post game touts Matt Ryan led his team with guts and 4 TDs is true, it hardly tells the whole story. In fact, Ryan sort of snapped out of it there in the end as the Falcons finally made some protection adjustments to give him a bit more time. But I give him credit, he still stood in there in the end, took some shots and delivered the football. While Sam had no touchdown passes, I think he played as well as Ryan did under similar pressure. He just hit his guys on the hands and they dropped the passes.
2. The Falcons Gashed the Eagles with the run like the Rams did. The Rams just couldn't get enough passing going to get a strong enough drive to punch it in.
3. The Falcons Defense created 3 turnovers to keep their team in the game! On top of that, two of the 3 turnovers put the Falcon offense well inside Eagle territory to start those drives which ended in Touchdowns. The turnovers were the result of pressure which the Falcons did virtually all game. The Rams started with pressure and then decided to switch gears and play coverage and got smoked instead of sticking to their initial gameplan.
4. The guy on offense the won the game for the Falcons was Tony Gonzalez. Julio had that one nice catch there and Roddy White had a good one early in the game, but the Falcons WRs were about as effective as the Rams recievers. The Eagles secondary is better than advertised. The Falcons would have caved like the Rams, but Matt Remembered from his previous years that all he had to do was chuck the ball in Tony's general vicinity and Tony would bail him out. The Rams had similar plans last week to get around that awesome Eagle secondary by throwing it to their tight end phenom. Sam hit Kendricks on the hands a couple of times and he dropped it, but he was a rookie playing in his first NFL game. Not quite the same result when you compare to a record breaking HOF tight end!
So yeah I know, who cares. Why should I be rehashing a loss when the team is about to be on the big stage in the Meadowlands? Because I think the Rams might be alot better than their week 1 loss. But more importantly, I have outlined the things the Rams need to improve upon in order to beat the Giants.
1. Sam has to find a rhythm with his receivers. While the Rams run the ball well, they have to at least generate enough passing offense to tie together a drive featuring strong runs so they can get down to the red zone and punch it in.
2. The Rams have to show they can put 150 yards on the ground consistently by doing it to the Giants. Which will be tougher because the Giants are alot better vs the run. The running game has to be the Rams strategy until McDaniels gets that complicated passing game put together. It is obviously a work in progress right now.
3. The Rams defense must generate turnovers. They did alot of that last year, they got nothing against the Eagles. Atogwe is gone, so someone has to step up. For the Rams, turnovers are going to come as a result of pressure so they need to keep it up. If the other team burns them once or twice early for a big play, who cares, there are 3 more quarters and odds are the defense is going to get alot of turnovers and big plays throughout the course of the game.
4. If the Rams are going to go all Patriots on us, then their tight ends need to catch the football. It's hard to keep the possession game going when you drop the football.