Falcons vs. Rams: 4 biggest storylines ahead of Saturday's game

Posted January 07, 2018

Gurley accounted for more than 60 per cent of L.A.'s yardage in those games and 52 per cent of its points. Gurley II sat out the season finale against San Francisco, giving him an extra week to rest up before going up against a Falcons defense that finished ninth in the National Football League in both rushing defense and total defense. But the question of which team shows up for the playoffs lingers.

If the Falcons are forced to play from behind and abandon the run, Sanu can be the key to moving the chains.

Regardless of what's happening around him, Ryan said his best course of action during the week is to stay focused on the game plan.

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

While the Falcons eventually pulled away, Ryan was harassed for much of the game by the Rams defensive front.

Many believed Atlanta would be in for a rude awakening traveling across country to take on Los Angeles since Sean McVay's squad would be well rested after a majority of the starters sat in Week 17, but obviously that was far from the case.

The Falcons' last game was a 22-10 win over Carolina. In fact, the Falcons have allowed just one 100-yard rusher all season (Jay Ajayi, Week 6 vs. Miami). Everyone in this locker room has been doing everything they can to make sure that when we step on the field this time on Saturday, that we've got everything ready to go.

Where Cam Newton goes, so do the Panthers. Most of Atlanta's damage came from its running game, which ground down the clock once the lead was built. Would you be surprised if he had a three interception game?

Can Sam Ficken get the job done on a big stage? It's been tough for Newton, to say the least, with little available in the way of legitimate weapons outside of Christian McCaffrey and Greg Olsen.

Against Seattle, Gurley scored four touchdowns in addition to 180 yards from scrimmage.

McVay engineered the turnaround with a quarterback in Jared Goff whom some were writing off previous year, and with running back Todd Gurley, who has always had undeniable talent but had a disappointing season in 2016.

Instead of relying exclusively on their future Hall of Famer, New Orleans leaned on one of the best running back duos in National Football League history in Mark Ingram and rookie sensation Alvin Kamara. After that season, Quinn jumped back into the coaching ranks in the NFL, and he remembers scouting Gurley II when he declared for the 2015 NFL Draft.

Sanu may not be the only slot receiver to have a productive game, as Rams rookie Cooper Kupp could also be in line for a nice night.