Falcons lead Rams 13-10 at halftime of NFC wild-card game

Beth Cruz
January 7, 2018

The fact they're the only NFC team from last year's postseason to make it in speaks to the volatility of such things, but when a team goes to the Super Bowl and leads the National Football League in scoring and, well, nearly slams New England for the championship, it enters the following season with a certain expectation level.

The Falcons benefited from the Rams' miscues on special teams to take an early 13-0 lead.

The Falcons are heading to Philadelphia.

The Falcons' last game was a 22-10 win over Carolina. "When you've been through some of the fire together, you come out the other side stronger as a brotherhood". "We're battle ready. I think that's important when you get to this time of year". The Eagles lost in Atlanta to the Falcons 14-13 in the Wild Card Round way back in 1978, which was Dick Vermeil's first playoff game as a head coach.

The Rose Bowl, which opened in 1922, was the site of a historical win for Georgia on Monday night. "It was one we've been waiting on to get those kinds of takeaways". But Cooper was feeling better on Friday and was a full participant in practice, which has Rams coaches believing he will be available to play on Saturday.

Even more impressive is the fact that three of those field goals are from 56, 51 and 54 yards out.

Freeman carried the ball 18 times for 66 yards and got some serious - and potentially illegal - help from Alex Mack on a touchdown run in the first half.

After the 2003 year where a fractured fibula took Vick out for the most of the season and dashed away any chances for the Falcons that year, a new system under Jim Mora took place as well as the drafting of Roddy White, signing of defensive tackle Rod Coleman, and the continuing emergence of LB Keith Brooking and DE Patrick Kerney.

Smith threw for 264 yards and two touchdowns for the Chiefs, who haven't won a home playoff game since January 1994.

Outside of three long runs, the Falcons limited the Rams' most potent weapon - running back Todd Gurley - for most of the night.

"I'm O-fer, so I don't have much experience in winning", he joked this week.

"I just look at the last ballgame".

The Rams were shaky at times in their first playoff game since 2005.

The health of Julio Jones might play the biggest factor in whether Ryan can put up similar numbers in these playoffs, as the wide receiver comes into the game nursing an injured left thumb. They are a young team and Goff, just in his second season, hooked up with rookie receiver Cooper Kupp for a second-quarter touchdown pass. Heightening the drama is the 8:15 p.m. (NBC) primetime start.

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