|Last 3 Games||1-0||+1||0-1||1-0||27.0||10.0||366.0||(5.9)||2.0||24.0||10.0||390.0||(5.9)||2.0|
|Offense (All Games)||27.0||10.0||20.0||28:35||24-67||(2.8)||27-38||71.1%||299||(7.9)||62-366||(5.9)||(13.6)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||27||10||20||29:35||24-67||(2.8)||27-38||71.1%||299||(7.9)||62-366||(5.9)||(13.6)|
|Defense (All Games)||24.0||10.0||25.0||31:25||26-86||(3.3)||26-40||65.0%||304||(7.6)||66-390||(5.9)||(16.2)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||24||10||25||31:25||26-86||(3.3)||26-40||65.0%||304||(7.6)||66-390||(5.9)||(16.2)|
|Stats For (All Games)||1.0||1.0||2.0||0.0||11-4||36.4%||0-0||0.0%||3-46||(15.3)||1-1||(1)||7-59|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||1||1||2||2||11-4||36.4%||0-0||0.0%||3-46||(15.3)||1-1||(1)||7-59|
|Stats Against (All Games)||1.0||1.0||2.0|| ||14-7||50.0%||0-0||0.0%||2-32||(16)||1-1||(1)||6-68|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||1||1||2|| ||14-7||50.0%||0-0||0.0%||2-32||(16)||1-1||(1)||6-68|
|Last 3 Games||0-1||-1||0-1||0-1||17.0||10.0||367.0||(7.1)||2.0||23.0||13.0||419.0||(6.5)||1.0|
|Offense (All Games)||17.0||10.0||18.0||24:49||14-88||(6.3)||25-38||65.8%||279||(7.3)||52-367||(7.1)||(21.6)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||17||10||18||25:49||14-88||(6.3)||25-38||65.8%||279||(7.3)||52-367||(7.1)||(21.6)|
|Defense (All Games)||23.0||13.0||18.0||35:11||29-78||(2.7)||26-35||74.3%||341||(9.7)||64-419||(6.5)||(18.2)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||23||13||18||35:11||29-78||(2.7)||26-35||74.3%||341||(9.7)||64-419||(6.5)||(18.2)|
|Stats For (All Games)||1.0||1.0||2.0||-1.0||11-3||27.3%||1-0||0.0%||0-0||(0)||2-21||(10.5)||2-19|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||1||1||2||3||11-3||27.3%||1-0||0.0%||0-0||(0)||21-2||(10.5)||2-19|
|Stats Against (All Games)||1.0||0.0||1.0|| ||13-6||46.2%||1-0||0.0%||1-23||(23)||4-7||(1.7)||6-57|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||1||0||1|| ||13-6||46.2%||1-0||0.0%||1-23||(23)||7-4||(1.7)||6-57|
|Average power rating of opponents played: ST LOUIS 13, ATLANTA 25|
|9/15/2013||@ ATLANTA|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|9/22/2013||@ DALLAS|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|9/26/2013||SAN FRANCISCO|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|10/6/2013||JACKSONVILLE|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|10/13/2013||@ HOUSTON|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|9/8/2013||@ NEW ORLEANS||17-23||L||3.5||L||53.5||U||14-88||25-38-279||2||29-78||26-35-341||1|
|9/15/2013||ST LOUIS|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|9/22/2013||@ MIAMI|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|9/29/2013||NEW ENGLAND|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|10/7/2013||NY JETS|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|ST LOUIS: Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has always been more of a finesse coach, and the loss of Steven Jackson will force him away from the ground game. They may have to install some more zone looks, with outside runner Daryl Richardson the only proven back on the roster. Isaiah Pead, more of a one-cut back, has a shot at a bigger role after a poor showing as a rookie, as does rookie Zac Stacy. There's a chance big back Terrance Ganaway could work his way into the rotation, as the team's only true power runner.
The Rams will spread it out and go with a lot of short, catch-and-run stuff. Rookie Tavon Austin steps into Danny Amendola's slot position and should lead the team in targets, getting the ball on a lot of short and behind-the-line-of-scrimmage passes. Sam Bradford prefers to work over the middle, so there will be enough balls for Austin and TE Jared Cook, who should be option 1A. Chris Givens is a field stretcher, and they'll look for more catch-and-run stuff out of developing flanker Brian Quick. Schottenheimer has always gotten pass-happy in the red zone, and that should be the case again with no proven power runner. Expect a lot of stuff for Cook near the goal line. Austin Pettis saw a lot of red zone looks last year, though he could be pushed to the bench by Quick.
The Rams posted a whopping 52 sacks last season, which tied for the NFL lead. But this unit had just four fumble recoveries all season and failed to pick off a pass in nine of the final 12 games. Talent does exist for new defensive coordinator Tim Walton though, with DEs Chris Long (11.5 sacks) and Robert Quinn (10.5 sacks) and LB James Laurinaitis (142 tackles) standing out among the front seven, and CBs Cortland Finnegan (83 solo tackles) and Janoris Jenkins (4 INT) both strong cover men in a solid secondary.|
|ATLANTA: Atlanta finally transitioned to a pass-first offense in offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter's first year, though with new No. 1 back Steven Jackson replacing over-the-hill Michael Turner, they at least have the threat of a running game now. Koetter brought in more zone looks, and they should continue to move away from the man blocking of past regimes. Jackson can play three downs, but they may be careful with his workload to keep him fresh for the playoffs. They trust No. 2 back Jacquizz Rodgers in the passing game and on some runs out of spread looks, and they'll rotate Jason Snelling in as well.
The biggest addition Koetter made to the passing game was more bubble screens, which proved to be one of their best weapons. They use a lot of motion to create mismatches and effectively use bunch formations for added confusion. Roddy White remains Matt Ryan's favorite target, while Julio Jones is frequently used either downfield, or on those bubble screens. Ryan's second look is usually for TE Tony Gonzalez up the seam. Atlanta gets more balanced in the red zone, and that should hold true with Jackson replacing Turner as the red zone and goal line back.
The Falcons are hoping disgruntled DE Osi Umenyiora seriously helps a pass rush that totaled nine sacks in the second half of the year. Atlanta ranked 24th in yards allowed last season (366 YPG), but forced 31 turnovers (T-4th in NFL), including a dozen in the final five games. Atlanta departed with veteran DE John Abraham and CBs Brent Grimes and Dunta Robinson, but the secondary is still loaded with FS Thomas DeCoud (6 INT), CB Asante Samuel (5 INT) and rookie CB Desmond Trufant. The front seven has questions, but both top tacklers, LBs Sean Weatherspoon and Stephen Nicholas, are now healthy. |
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER PRO FOOTBALL PREVIEW (ST LOUIS-ATLANTA) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Rams-Falcons Preview* ======================
By JONAH ROSENBLUM STATS Writer
Sam Bradford was well-protected in the St. Louis Rams' opener by an offensive line that included the newly acquired Jake Long.
The Atlanta Falcons may wish they had made a bid for Long as well.
Long and the Rams will get a look at a cornerstone of their past in Steven Jackson when they visit the Falcons on Sunday.
The Rams hadn't started with a win since 2006, and the delight they took in Sunday's 27-24 comeback victory over Arizona was obvious.
"Watching the game clock tick to zero, that's my most favorite part," coach Jeff Fisher said. "You know, we're really excited."
They haven't been 2-0 since winning the NFC championship in 2001.
The Rams are in position to equal that mark because their pass protection continued to trend upward last week. St. Louis gave up a league-worst 55 sacks in 2011 and 35 last season, then didn't allow any Sunday.
"I can't say enough about those guys up front," Bradford said. "They played outstanding, and I think it shows that we've taken leaps and bounds from where we were last year."
Long, the No. 1 overall pick by Miami in the 2008 draft, went to the Pro Bowl in his first four seasons but allowed a career-high seven sacks last year.
On Sunday, he was part of a unit that helped the Rams not allow a sack for the third straight game - the first time they've achieved that feat since 1973.
"Not that there's much carry-over from last year, but at least we're off to the right start," said Fisher, who said Bradford was hit just six times Sunday.
The Falcons wish they could say the same, as they allowed three sacks amid pressure that played a key role in their 23-17 loss to New Orleans last week.
Matt Ryan was forced to throw the ball away on a third-and-goal in the first quarter. He absorbed a 10-yard sack and an intentional grounding penalty to send the Falcons' promising final drive of the half to a premature end.
Ryan was hit on six other occasions.
"We don't want Matt to be under any pressure," center Peter Konz said. "We don't want anyone touching Matt, much less sacking him."
Some of these struggles are likely the result of the state of flux on the Falcons' offensive line. Left tackle Sam Baker and left guard Justin Blalock are the only holdovers from last year's starting unit, while Konz has shifted from guard to center to replace the retired Todd McClure.
Lamar Holmes made his first career start at right tackle Sunday, and Garrett Reynolds, with 14 starts since 2009, started at right guard.
"I'm absolutely confident we've got right guys," coach Mike Smith said. "The biggest jump you have during the season is always from Week 1 to Week 2. We're playing a lot of younger guys who have not played much. This was a great learning experience for them."
They'll get more such experience from a St. Louis team that led the NFC with 52 sacks last year. The Rams looked dangerous again in their opener, with Robert Quinn accounting for three of their four sacks.
St. Louis didn't run the ball particularly well in the first game of the post-Steven Jackson era, though, compiling 67 yards on 24 carries.
Jackson, who set the franchise record with 10,138 rushing yards over nine seasons, got off to a promising start in Atlanta with 11 rushes for 77 yards and five receptions for 45 yards. He did have a key drop on third-and-goal, however, with the Falcons looking to score a last-second touchdown.
On fourth down, Ryan's pass was tipped and intercepted to seal the defeat.
For St. Louis, Greg Zuerlein helped ensure the opposite ending with a 38-yard tying field goal and a 48-yard winner in the fourth quarter.
"Basically, I stay calm, swing like I know how and the rest takes care of itself," Zuerlein said. "I don't even know the distances when I go out there, to be honest. I just go out there and try to do my job."
Jared Cook, in his first game for the Rams after four seasons with Tennessee, overcame an early fumble to record a franchise-record 141 yards at the tight end position.
"I told him when we came back to the sideline, I said, 'Hey bro, be ready. It's coming right back to you,'" Bradford said. "It would have been easy for him to get down out there. He showed a ton of maturity and confidence."
Atlanta seeks to avoid its first 0-2 start since 2007.
|Last Updated: 10/20/2014 7:53:14 PM EST|