The Atlanta Falcons, who were just 7-10 a year ago, are headed to town. They’ve shipped off their franchise quarterback of 14 years - Matt Ryan - and jumpstarted the team’s rebuild. In Week 1 Atlanta held their own against the New Orleans Saints, who have one of the best overall rosters in the NFL though they have a question mark at the most important position - quarterback.
Marcus Mariota threw for 215 yards and added another 72 yards and a score with his legs. The resurgent Cordarrelle Patterson added another 120 rushing yards and a score on his own - furthering the point that this Falcons running attack could give LA fits.
Former Oregon QB Marcus Mariota hits former Trojan WR Drake London on a 31-yard pass.— SuperWest Sports (@SuperWestSports) September 11, 2022
The Rams have struggled against teams that control the clock and play keep away with the football. Atlanta is built for just that, and Mariota will make smart decisions to keep the ball out of harm’s way.
Los Angeles is hoping for a rebound, but it won’t come easy.
Here are three bold predictions for this exciting Week 2 matchup - but first, let’s revisit our predictions from a week ago:
1 - Allen Robinson will score the Rams’ first TD of 2022
This instead went to Cooper Kupp - and no one should be surprised.
2 - Josh Allen will accumulate 350 total yards
He had 353 - 297 passing and 56 on the ground.
3 - Bobby Wagner and Ernest Jones will combine for 2 interceptions
The Rams picked off Allen twice, but these takeaways were earned by OLB Terrell Lewis and CB Troy Hill.
4 - Tutu Atwell will snag a 50+ yard reception
Atwell dropped his lone target from Matthew Stafford, and he’s still looking for his first career reception in the NFL.
5 - Cam Akers & Darrell Henderson will fail to reach 100 rushing yards total
Henderson had 47 rushing yards and Akers had zero on his three carries. The Rams will need more out of their ground attack moving forward.
1 - Cooper Kupp will be held to lowest receiving total since 2020
Kupp’s lowest yardage output in 2021 came in Week 4 versus the Arizona Cardinals - he was held to 64 yards after catching only 5 of his 13 targets.
The star receiver faces a tough matchup in AJ Terrell, who was the second highest rated corner in terms of PFF grades behind only LA’s Jalen Ramsey. Both Ramsey and Terrell struggled in their first games of 2022, and both will be looking to re-establish themselves as top corners on Sunday.
AJ TERRELL WHAT HAPPENDUHHHHHHHHH pic.twitter.com/kqYWpkYY6U— ⚜️ (@PlayoffDeonte) September 11, 2022
Kupp’s involvement in the offense will be limited, so the Rams will need Allen Robinson, Tyler Higbee, Tutu Atwell, and Ben Skowronek to contribute more than they did in Week 1.
2 - Rookie Drake London will earn his first 100 yard game
The Saints’ Marshon Lattimore spent the majority of his time covering TE/WR Kyle Pitts in the season opener, and London was able to snag 5 catches for 74 yards.
Expect Ramsey to matchup against Pitts, which leaves the rest of LA’s secondary - who are somewhat undersized overall - to cover the 6-4 rookie receiver.
This is a tall order for David Long, Jr. and Troy Hill (literally).
Drake London hitting the whip route against Marshon Lattimore.— JetPack Galileo (@JetPackGalileo) September 13, 2022
Rapid hip sink.
No wasted movement.
Always finishes angry.
The number of 6'4" receivers that you can call this for is very limited (especially against a talent like Lattimore). London is SPECIAL. pic.twitter.com/bixhVeZrf3
3 - Terrell Lewis will record 2 sacks on Mariota
The Rams are hoping to fill the void left by Von Miller’s free agent departure - and they had a front row seat to Miller’s disruption against the Bills.
Justin Hollins and Terrell Lewis are the next men up at OLB opposite Leonard Floyd, and Lewis was the most dynamic player last Thursday night.
He’s going to set the tone on the edge Sunday afternoon and assert himself as the team’s starting edge rusher for the foreseeable future.
Terrell Lewis with a Interception pic.twitter.com/1ja3oBBkYO— Alabama DieHards (@DiehardsAlabama) September 9, 2022