The Los Angeles Rams are traveling to Atlanta to play a 1-5 Falcons team that has seen better days, especially on the defensive end. Their offensive line also has some issues with their guard play, so the Rams’ D could see an uptick in production.
Here are five Falcons to watch during’s Sunday’s Week 7 game.
ILB Deion Jones
The Atlanta Falcons defense is a bit of a mess, but Jones has been a strong presence in the middle. If QB Jared Goff effectively uses his security blanket, WR Cooper Kupp on crossing routes, he’s going to have to defeat Jones. Since the Falcon’s front seven is essentially the laughing stock of the league, the Rams’ run game, possibly led by RB Todd Gurley II, could be in for a bounce-back game.
TE Austin Hooper
Did you know that the top tight end in the NFL is none other than Hooper? The fourth-year player has cemented himself as a reliable playmaker with the offense. That’s unfortunate for the Los Angeles Rams, given that they’re starting rookie ILB Troy Reeder in the middle. Hooper could end up being a problem for the Rams’ defense on Sunday.
WR Julio Jones
The Rams have faced dominant pass catchers like Julio Jones this season and WR Michael Thomas and WR Odell Beckham were covered in a way that the Rams got the victory. With a banged up secondary and a brand new superstar cornerback in Jalen Ramsey, it will be very interesting how the coverage on Julio plays out.
QB Matt Ryan
It feels as if Ryan has been on the cusp of winning a Super Bowl for the past 22 seasons. That’s a bit of hyperbole, but Ryan beginning to show signs that his best days are behind him. That being stated, Ryan just threw for 356 yards, four touchdowns, and a 144.9 QBR. Oh, and here’s a weird stat for you: Ryan can become the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 300 or more yards in his first seven games of the season. While that’s a extremely wordy achievement to put on a plaque, it’s still impressive and respect should be paid.
CB Isaiah Oliver
Here is a guy, a second-round draft pick from Colorado, that has been struggling mightily. Oliver could be highlighted by Coach McVay in his offensive scheme and Goff will likely go after him. So much of the cornerback position is confidence and right now, Oliver is struggling on an already weak Falcons secondary. Goff has been criticized for not taking over games. Well, here is his shot.