The initial NFC wild card game will kick off at 8:15 p.m. E.T. on Saturday, Dec 6 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, as the Atlanta Falcons (10-6 Overall, 5-3 Away) are at the Los Angeles Rams (11-5 Overall, 4-4 Home). The Falcons come to this game as one of three NFC South teams to make the playoffs. Atlanta was 3-2 over their final five games. That included a big win on the last day, as they beat the Carolina Panthers 22-10. The Los Angeles Rams, who took the NFC West, were 3-2 in the last five weeks of the season. They did lose their final game 34-13, which had no bearing on their season and was a contest where the Rams protected their starters, to the San Francisco 49ers. Our Atlanta plays Los Angeles 2018 NFC wild card pick offers the Rams at either -5.5 or -6.0 and the over/under at 48.0.
The Falcons are 15th in the NFL in points scored, averaging 22.1 PPG. They are ninth in the league in passing yards, averaging 249 YPG, while they are 13th in rushing with 115 YPG. QB Matt Ryan (64.7 COMP%, 20 TDs, 12 INTs) is having a below average season. His premium receivers are wideouts Mohamed Sanu (67 REC, 703 YDs, 10.5 AVG, 5 TDs) and Julio Jones (88 REC, 1,444 YDs, 16,4 AVG, 3 TDs). Although Jones is listed as questionable today due to an ankle injury, he is expected to play. RBs Devonta Freeman (196 ATT, 865 YDs, 4.4 AVG, 7 TDs) who is questionable for today, and Tevi Coleman (156 ATT, 628 YDs, 4.0 AVG, 5 TDs) are essential to this team’s offensive output.
The Atlanta D is tough. They are keeping teams to 19.7 PPG, which is eighth in the NFL. They are holding the Falcons to 214 YPG in the air, which is 12th in the league. Also, teams are averaging just 104 YPG, which gets them a ninth ranking. The Falcons have some average stats, including 39 sacks, 13 FF, and eight FR. They have made only eight picks, 50 TFL, and 64 PD. CB Robert Alford leads the team with 20 PD, while DT Grady Jarrett comes to this game with four sacks and 10 TFL.
- Falcon defense can be tough
- QB Ryan can still thread the needle
- Rush attack is decent
Los Angeles Overview
The Rams are the top scoring club in the NFL, averaging 29.9 PPG. They are tops, also, in passing yards per game at 277. They are averaging just 100 YPG on the ground, which is 24th in the league. Los Angeles has at least two dynamic offensive plays, RB Todd Gurley II (279 ATT, 1,305 YDs, 4.7 AVG, 13 TDs) and QB Jared Goff (62.1 COMP%, 28 TDs, 7 INTs). Gurley is really a major offensive force on this team. Along with being the top rusher, he has the most pass catches (64) and has six receiving TDs and 788 YPG rushing. There are five receivers with 25 or more catches and four with five or more pass catches. Goff has found his stride at QB.
Los Angeles puts a good defense on the field. On average, they are keeping opponents to 20.6 PPG. Their pass D is keeping teams to 217 YPG. That’s 13th in the NFL. Their rush defense is ranked 31st in the league, as they are allowing 131 YPG. This is certainly a better-than-average defense when it comes to stopping the pass. The Rams have 18 INTs, 94 PD, and 48 sacks. They also have 17 FF and 10 recoveries. Their 39 TFL is low. DT Aaron Donald has 11.0 sacks, five FF, and seven TFL. CB Trumaine Johnson (2 INTs, 14 PD) and safety Lamarcus Joyner (3 INTs, 9 PD) are both especially productive.
- Top pass D
- Defense has difficulty versus rush
- Goff, Gurley and rest of offense can score
Three Important Takeaways
We have three essential observations for you to takeaway in our Atlanta plays Los Angeles 2018 NFC wild card pick:
- Can Falcon D stop LA’s dynamic offense?
- Goff vs. Ryan- edge to Rams
- D edge to Rams vs pass & Falcons vs run
Our Falcons Play Rams Pick
The Ram offense is very tough to stop and home field will help them. Our Atlanta plays Los Angeles 2018 NFC wild card pick is the Rams at -5.5. Despite the Atlanta defense, we think that LA will score, and, also, Atlanta will get their share of points on the board. We’re taking to over at 48.0.