Atlanta Falcons 31, St. Louis Rams 24: Instant Reaction

Scott Cunningham

The Rams didn't realize the game started until the third quarter as their comeback attempt came up short.

The Rams are now 1-1 on the season.

I don't think many expected the Rams to come out of Atlanta with a win, but if it wasn't for a horrendous start to the game, the Rams would have had a very good shot. The Rams out-gained the Falcons 421-393, but sadly, points aren't given for yards.

As they did last week, the Rams started very slow. They had horrible field position the entire first half. The best starting field position for the Rams was the 20, as there were three flags on consecutive punts for the Rams. It's nearly impossible to score on the road with such poor field position, and the Rams were only able to muster three first half points, and entered the locker room down 24-3.

Steven Jackson scored on the first drive against the Rams, but he was injured, and didn't return for the game.

The second half was a different story. The Rams defense found life, forcing Atlanta into three and out on their first three possessions. The Rams scored two unanswered touchdowns to make it 24-17. If it wasn't for the tipped pass off of Daryl Richardson in the first half that the Falcons returned for a TD, the Rams could have been leading at this point.

The Falcons answered with a touchdown drive, and the Rams put together another scoring drive with Tavon Austin catching his second TD of the day, but they ran out of time to complete the comeback.

The Rams have now had two terrible starts to games followed by valiant comeback efforts, but this week they came up short. These slow starts have to be put on the coaching staff, especially on offense. The scripted plays at the beginning of the game are obviously not working. The Rams were most effective in hurry up today, running very simple plays.

Sam Bradford had another great game. He was 32/55 for 352 yards, and three TDs. The play calling was conservative, and Sam threw many checkdowns, but it was very effective in the second half. He has put up great numbers through these first two games. We'll see if this continues.

Chris Givens quietly had a 100 yard receiving game for the Rams. He didn't make a huge impact, but his production helped the Rams gain some valuable yards.

Jared Cook was absent. He only had one catch in the game. Atlanta's linebackers and safeties did an excellent job taking him away. Their safety play is terrific.

The Rams have now played two games in 2013, but have not given up a sack yet. This unit is much improved. They weren't perfect, as Sam was under duress quite often, but it's a fine achievement.

The Rams defense played very well in the second half. They only allowed seven points to Atlanta, while getting constant pressure on Matt Ryan. Robert Quinn had another great performance. He looks ready to join the top tier of pass rushers.

The Rams showed a lot of grit and determination in their comeback effort, but due to their slow start, thanks in large part to penalties, the Rams lost and are now 1-1.

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