NFL Playoffs: Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles Rams

Sunday, 07 Jan, 2018

The Falcons are a wild-card team.

At 10-6, they've gone from the No. 2 seed to the sixth, but they're the only NFC team to return to the playoffs. This is the first of two NFL NFC Wild Card games on the weekend.

In fact, the Rams, who averaged 14.0 points per game last year and 29.9 points per game this year, were just the second team in National Football League history to go worst to first in scoring.

Now in the midst of his third full season as a member of the Rams, Barron was originally acquired by the NFC West franchise midway through the 2014-15 campaign.

After a frighteningly unproductive 2016 season, Gurley led the league in total yards from scrimmage in 2017 and is a legit MVP candidate. The Rams' Jared Goff has had a breakout season, but would anyone be surprised if the enormity of the moment rattled the young player? Gurley accounted for more than 60 per cent of L.A.'s yardage in those games and 52 per cent of its points.

No one could have predicted the pace at which the Rams improved.

Since it's the playoffs we're mixing it up and adding in some extra predictions from difference sources around the web.

If the Falcons are forced to play from behind and abandon the run, Sanu can be the key to moving the chains. "I try to focus or worry or lend my brain space to trying to win games".

Can Falcons bottle up Gurley?

The Titans are all about quarterback Marcus Mariota, although he has not had a great season.

The comparisons are well known, with many saying Goff is the next Matt Ryan.

But the contrast from last year's team isn't all bad.

The Rams already had a solid defense last season under coordinator Gregg Williams.

Barron was limited in practice this week by an Achilles' tendon injury, but he was in uniform Saturday night for the Rams' first playoff game in 13 years.

That could mean an end-zone trip for Kupp, who caught 62 passes (on a team-leading 94 targets) for 869 yards and five touchdowns in 15 games.

The Falcons didn't meet those expectations during the season.

Atlanta's biggest concern was starting running back Devonta Freeman, who has a knee injury that made some question whether he'd be able to play against the Rams.

Where Cam Newton goes, so do the Panthers. While the Rams' average rankings in pass defense and run defense haven't changed drastically since last season, Phillips' defense has produced a whopping 48 sacks - fourth in the National Football League and 17 more than last season.

After trading top target Kelvin Benjamin and suffering a rash of offensive injuries (including leading receiver Devin Funchess), the pressure has fallen nearly entirely on Newton to get the job done himself.