By Garin Turner
The Atlanta Falcons and Los Angeles Rams both look to get into the winning column after both losing their season openers last week. In the case of the Falcons (0-1), they lost a heartbreaker 27-26 to NFC South rival New Orleans Saints.
The Falcons built a 16-point lead with 12:41 left in the fourth quarter before the Saints rallied behind two Jameis Winston touchdown passes to Michael Thomas and a Wil Lutz 51-yard field goal with 19 seconds left in the game.
Falcons QB Marcus Mariota went 20/33 for 215 yards in his debut. He added 72 yards and a score on 12 carries. CordarrellePatterson had a career-high 120 yards on 22 attempts and a score.
First-round draft pick wide receiver Drake London had five receptions for 74 yards and last year’s first-round pick, TE Kyle Pitts added 19 yards on two catches.
The Falcons rushed for 201 yards last week. They also had two costly fumbles.
On the defensive side, DE Grady Jarrett had five tackles and 1.5 sacks for the Falcons who got to Winston four times. The four sacks were a good sign as the Falcons were last in sacks a year ago with 18, never managing more than three in a game.
For the Rams (0-1), the road to defending its Super Bowl championship got off to a rocky start in the first game of the 2022 season as they lost to the Buffalo Bills 31-10.
The game was tied at the half 10-10 but the Bills scored 21 points in the second half. QB Matthew Stafford threw three interceptions in the game along with 240 yards. He did throw for the lone TD for the Rams.
The Rams couldn’t get anything going on the ground either, only amassing 52 yards on 18 carries. WR Cooper Kupp continued where he left off last year, hauling in 13 receptions for 128 yards and a touchdown.
The Rams will look to improve on its 243 total yards gained last week. They did force four turnovers but couldn’t capitalize on them.
Troy Hill and Terrell Lewis each had an interception for the Rams and will look to slow down London and Pitts.
Aaron Donald had a sack last week and looks to keep Mariota inside the pocket.