(East Los Angeles, CA) [From The Editor’s Desk]: The Rams House was overflowing with enthusiasm, big expectations, and high hopes for a very gratifying “W” over the Atlanta Falcons in their Game 2 of the new season.
But now it’s time to get to our story of this exciting NFL match-up and the unusual finish it produced. We’ve included a great Photo Gallery and a Post-game interviews with Head Coach Sean McVay, QB/Matthew Stafford, and Running Back, Cam Akers.
[1st Qtr]: The Rams won the coin toss and deferred to the Falcons. They took the “kick-off” and began their first drive and drew within field goal range only to miss the attempt from the 44 yard line. Starting at QB for Atlanta was the veteran, #1/Marcus Mariota. This occurred at the (6:54) mark.
The Rams began their first scoring drive after the kick-off and at the (1:44) mark in the period, they scored their first TD on a 1 yard fade route completion to #1/Allen Robinson II. The PAT was good. Rams 7, Falcons 0
[2nd Qtr]: At the (14:10) minute showing on the game-clock, the Rams were after it again and began their drive with excellent pass-run options to #3/RB Cam Akers for 1st downs at the 19 yard line and then down to the 11 yard line. This set-up an 8 yard TD run by #27/RB Darrell Henderson, Jr. The drive went 8 plays and covered 50 yards and came with (9:34) left. The PAT was perfect and Rams now led by (14-0).
At the (5:40) mark, the Falcons re-grouped and drove downfield on a good 30 yard connection to his WR, #84/Cordarrelle Patterson. That was quickly followed by an 11 yd. run. Next, on a 4th & 1, at the Rams 13, Mariota, although he slipped on the turf, managed to find a receiver to make the 1st down. Next, on 3rd & 8, the Rams Front Four pressured Mariota with hurries and the Falcons had to settle for a 26 yd. field goal from Younghoe Koo at the (2:44) marker. The score was now Rams 14, Atlanta 3.
To close out the half, the Rams essentially began to show air attack as #9/QB Matthew Stafford guided his team hitting receivers Cooper Kupp and Tyler Higbee for big gainers. However, at the (1:00) minute, Stafford threw a floater to Higbee in the end zone but it was intercepted by #29/Hayward Casey.
The Rams regained possession with (00:54) after a big interception by #14/DB/Cobie Durant who returned it 54 yards down to the Falcons 9 yd. line. Stafford then worked the clock down to just (00:19) seconds and then found his favorite receiver, Cooper Kupp open for a 3 yd TD pass.
(HALFTIME SCORE): Rams 21 Falcons 3
[3rd Qtr]: The Rams received the kick-off and started a new drive and the “Air Attack” was in full swing as Stafford easily found targets Kupp and Higbee for multiple and double-digit positive yardage plays. Then on a Kupp crowd-pleasing catch, which went left-right, finishing it with a stutter-step move, he scored at the (9:22) mark moving the score with the PAT, up to (28-3).
Then, after the Falcons’ Mychal Walker interception of Stafford, his second mistake of the game, Mariota led his team to their first TD when he targeted former USC Trojan, #4/WR/Drake London.
That drive started at the (5:10) marker, and ended with a 4 yd. TD pass to yard run coming with (3:20) left in the period. The scoreboard now read, Rams 28, Falcons 10. Respectability returned to the Falcons with that drive and they began to show signs of momentum to start the final period.
[4th Qtr]: The Rams were able to add 3 more points onto their score when Matt Gay kicked a 20 yd. field goal with (12:12) left to go. The score now moved up to (31-10), Rams.
The next score, at the (8:24) mark, came from the Falcons when Mariota connected with Olamide Zaccheaus on an 11 yd. TD pass. But the complexion of the game suddenly shifted and began to greatly favor the Falcons, based on several miscues by the Rams. First, an unexpected blocked punt by Troy Anderson resulted in a 26 yd. “scoop and score” by Lorenzo Carter. The margin was now just 6 points, (31-25), Rams. This all came with (4:57) remaining.
With (3:32) left, the next error was a rare fumble by Kupp, when during his crossing pattern in the middle of the field at the 31 yd. line, he was stripped by the defender, giving the ball back to the Falcons.
Mr. Momentum had surely jumped on the Falcons side and were in a score-tying mood and a possible come-from- behind victory, pending of course, a good PAT. But wait a minute. #99 Aaron Donald and Company showed up to preserve the victory when Mariota, with just (1:13) remaining, was hurried by the insistent Rams “D” linemen, and caused it to flutter just in time for #5/Jalen Ramsey, who leaped high into the air over the receiver, and intercepted it at the goal yard line. He immediately returned it up field towards the Rams bench, thereby disrupting any chance of the Falcons tying the game.
On a 4th & 7 call, Coach McVay called a unique and rare play that resulted in a touchback, awarding the Falcons, their final 2 points. The Falcons had possession with only (00:06) seconds left, but Mariota was sacked by Justin Hollins to end the game.
(FINAL SCORE): Rams 31 Falcons 27
[Next Up]: @Arizona Cardinals, Sept. 25th, 1:25 pm Kick-off. To Watch: FOX/NFL. To Listen: 710 AM/ESPN