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Rams will have to play 4 quarters next week vs Niners ...

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Originally Posted by saintfan If there were no other difference, Atlanta has skid britches, and much as we hate on him, he's a better QB than most of us want to admit. I have a feeling the Rams will beat ...

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Old 01-04-2022, 12:47 PM   #11
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Re: Rams will have to play 4 quarters next week vs Niners ...

Originally Posted by saintfan View Post
If there were no other difference, Atlanta has skid britches, and much as we hate on him, he's a better QB than most of us want to admit.

I have a feeling the Rams will beat SF in a close game. Our game with Atlanta is a crap shoot IMO.

Indeed. Ryan is not a slouch. Plus, a hell of a lot worse QBs than him have beat the Saints asses. Don’t eat the cheese. I’ve got my Pat/poker friends up here already asking me to make gumbo for the Tampa/Saints first round playoff matchup tailgate party he hosts.
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Old 01-04-2022, 12:48 PM   #12
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Re: Rams will have to play 4 quarters next week vs Niners ...

Originally Posted by K Major View Post
The last tweet I read from Jeff Duncan is that Ramz season is over. Apparently, he's been dealing with a severe knee injury for over a month now.

IIRC he attempted to play in the Dallas game (week 13) but must have aggravated the knee. Based on the timeline, it's gotta be a severe MCL sprain. You could tell early on in the season, something wasn't quite right because he hasn't been the dominant RT we are accustomed to seeing.

Even if we "sneak" into the post-season, I don't think we'll see Ryan suit up at any point.

Unfortunate .
I would have expected him to be placed on IR if his season was indeed over. That's what's puzzling me. Of course, with the COVID Reserve listing they can keep him available without burning a 53 man roster spot.
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Old 01-04-2022, 01:05 PM   #13
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Re: Rams will have to play 4 quarters next week vs Niners ...

Originally Posted by K Major View Post
Underhill has slowed down on his articles on NOfootball.com as late but better believe I'll continue to share those as they become available.
Here's a new one, K.

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Old 01-04-2022, 01:33 PM   #14
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Re: Rams will have to play 4 quarters next week vs Niners ...

Originally Posted by AsylumGuido View Post


Atlanta fell to 7-9 on Sunday with a 29-15 loss to the Bills in Buffalo – a loss which eliminated it from NFC Wild Card contention. The Falcons have only won once at home this season, a 20-16 victory over the Detroit Lions on Dec. 26. They’re 2-3 against the NFC South, including during a Week 9 victory over New Orleans in Trevor Siemian’s first full game as the Saints starting quarterback. When looking at the Falcons’ body of work this year, it’s hard to ignore that their seven wins have all come against teams currently .500 or worse, with five of those wins coming against teams that currently own five wins or less. Their most impressive win is probably the one over the Saints. However, Falcons first-year head coach and offensive play caller Arthur Smith does deserve some credit for getting this team to seven wins and keeping them fairly consistent – the Falcons haven’t had a losing streak of more than two games this year. A win Sunday would double their win total from last season. Per Caesars Sportsbook, the Saints are 4.5 point favorites on Sunday in Atlanta, facing a potential win-and-in scenario if the 49ers lose to the Rams.

COVID/Injury Report: The Falcons currently have six players on the COVID list, including wide receiver Tajae Sharpe, tight end Hayden Hurst and defensive end Jonathan Bullard. The Falcons are relatively healthy at the moment but are facing two important injury situations heading into Sunday. Tight end Kyle Pitts sustained a hamstring injury during Sunday’s game, and according to Smith on Monday, isn’t yet ruled out for Sunday as they’re still gathering information on the extent of the injury. Starting cornerback Fabian Moreau missed Sunday’s game with a rib injury, and his situation is very much in doubt for Week 18 as well.

Scouting the Offense: Offensively, Smith does a really nice job blending the run and pass, allowing the Falcons to be consistently well-balanced. Sunday’s loss was a good example of this balance, play distribution-wise. The Falcons threw the ball 23 times and ran it 22 times. In its first meeting with New Orleans, Atlanta achieved similar balance, with 30 passes and 25 rushing attempts. Smith brings over a lot of the same principles and run schemes from Tennessee, where he served as the offensive coordinator in 2019-2020. The Falcons have struggled to put up points and create explosive plays. Radar360 has the Falcons 27th in points per game (18.3) and 26th in yards (306.7). The loss of wide receiver Calvin Ridley, who remains on the reserve/non-football injury list due to a personal matter has been a big one. Ridley didn’t play in the first game against the Saints either, and hasn’t played since Oct. 24 vs Miami.

Despite Ridley’s absence, the Falcons have two game-changing playmakers in halfback Cordarrelle Patterson and Pitts. The Saints saw what Patterson and Pitts can do in the first matchup, with Patterson totaling six catches for 126 yards, with Pitts catching three passes for 62 yards. Patterson has experienced a career year this season in his ninth season in the league, and Smith’s done some of his finest work getting the most out of him. With 200 overall touches (149 rushing, 51 receiving), 1,154 yards, and 11 touchdowns to his name, Patterson has shown he can still be a weapon in this league at age 30. At 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, he’s a strong runner in the open field, but he also has very good short burst and explosiveness to take creases, shoot into the second level of the defense, and run away from defenders in the open field. Pitts, on the other hand, is a unique weapon that will do damage in the NFC South for a long time due to his size, athleticism, catch point skills and run after catch ability. Matchup wise, many teams have been treating him like a true wide receiver, putting a cornerback on him. With the absence of Ridley, it especially makes sense to show Pitts this level of respect if he plays, as the Falcons other primary receivers like Russell Gage and Olamide Zacchaeus, don’t represent quite the same threat as Pitts. Almost ten weeks removed from the Saints first matchup against Pitts and the Falcons, it will be interesting how they decide to cover him.

Ironman quarterback Matt Ryan, who’s only missed three starts in his entire 14-year career, is having another solid season, posting an efficient 67.4 completion percentage. He is, however, in danger of throwing for less than 4,000 yards for the first time since 2010, as he currently sits at 3,752 yards heading into Sunday. His slight drop off in production is, in my opinion, due to two primary factors: playing most games this year without a true number one receiver for the first time in a while, and also the struggles of the Falcons offensive line. Ryan having enough time to throw is a glaring problem for the Falcons up front. Right guard Chris Lindstrom and left tackle Jake Matthews are solid players, but one player who’s holding the offensive line back is rookie left guard Jalen Mayfield. He’s a clear player to attack for this Saints front four. Mayfield only started 15 career games in college at Michigan, and Sunday will be his 17th career NFL start. He’s an athletic prospect with good size, but he struggles to play on balance and technically sound at times, often getting attacked on his edges too easily and giving up pressure. This is the third week in a row New Orleans will take on a below average offensive line, and they’ll get another good matchup to continue its winning formula of late – playing great defense.

Scouting the Defense: Upon building a staff, Smith made a key hire when he brought in longtime NFL vet Dean Pees to lead the defense. Pees is highly respected across the NFL, having spent 10 combined seasons as defensive coordinator under Bill Belichick and John Harbaugh. Prior to joining Atlanta, he coached alongside Smith in Tennessee. This is another defense that disguises pressure and is challenging for an offensive line to face. However, as most coaches will tell you, they can only go as far as the players take them, and this defense still has personnel deficiencies that will need to be addressed by Atlanta’s front office. This has caused the Falcons to rank 29th in points allowed per game (26.8), and 23rd in yards allowed per game (364.1). Besides defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, they lack a real pass rushing threat along the front, and it shows – Atlanta is last in the NFL in sacks with only 17, which is 9 less than 31st-ranked Jacksonville.

One area that’s a clear strength for the Falcons is at inside linebacker. Having both Deion Jones and Foyesade Oluokun is a real luxury for this defense. The inside backer position has really diversified in today’s NFL as far as usage goes, and with how much Dime (packages with six defensive backs) teams are playing, there are many snaps where only one inside backer is on the field. Atlanta, however, primarily operates in Base or Nickel, allowing both Jones and Oluokun to be on the field at the same time. Both of these players have excellent straight line speed and are good tacklers in space. The speed and explosiveness of Alvin Kamara versus their ability to run and finish in the open field is always a fun one to watch. Oluokun is a free agent in March, and he’s due for a huge payday. A sixth round pick in 2018 out of Yale University, Oluokun has reached his high ceiling, combining his athleticism with his instincts to become one of the most productive linebackers in football. This season, he’s totaled 179 tackles, which leads the league, to go along with two sacks, three interceptions, and one forced fumble. With a lot of money already committed to Jones, it will be a tough decision for the Falcons front office whether or not they keep this dynamic duo together, especially since Oluokun’s price continues to go up with each week of productivity.

Another bright spot of the Falcons defense this year has been the emergence of cornerback AJ Terrell into a true number one corner. The second-year pro has been a key cog in their secondary, matching him with Stefon Diggs for most of Sunday’s game. Outside of Terrell, there is still work to be done to build up the secondary into a complete unit. Duron Harmon is one of their starting safeties and he’s spent his entire career playing in a defense with New England roots. He spent 2013-2019 with New England and signed with Atlanta on a one-year contract in March after spending 2020 with the Lions. He’s a highly intelligent player on the back end that lacks the top athletic traits to excel all around. The Falcons defense, like the offense, has struggled at times, and it’s the Saints mission Sunday to do everything they can to grind it out for an all-important win.

Scouting the Special Teams: Over the course of the season, the Falcons have experienced great success at all three specialist positions – a real bright spot for this team. Kicker Younghoe Koo has been remarkably consistent for the second year in a row. He’s made all 28 extra point attempts and is 25-for-27 on field goals this year. He simply doesn’t miss from 40 yards and in, going a perfect 17-for-17 this season in that range. Josh Harris, the Falcons long snapper since 2012, was named to his first career Pro Bowl last week. Harris is also the team’s leading tackler on special teams with eight so far this year. Rarely does a long snapper lead the team in tackles, so it speaks to his athleticism and ability to wrap up in space that he’s notched eight tackles so far. At the punter position, they’ve taken a page from the Saints playbook bringing in Thomas Morstead in late November. Morstead, to no surprise, has experienced immediate success, as he was named NFC Special Teams player of the month for December, with 6-of-11 punts inside the 20 and a 49-yard average per punt. With many teams around the league struggling in some capacity with their specialists, it’s impressive the Falcons have been able to nail down consistent success in the kicking game, at least with their kicker, punter, and long snapper.

Matchup to watch: Saints Defense vs. Cordarrelle Patterson

If Pitts is unable to go Sunday, the entire offensive game plan for Atlanta will likely be centered on feeding the versatile and productive Patterson. He’s had far more rushing attempts than receptions so far this season, but in the first meeting with the Saints, he burned the Saints in the short receiving game, totaling 126 receiving yards on six catches. Slowing Patterson down will require sound football in the run game and proper tackling in space, as he’s a hard man to control. It’s no secret the Saints offense is struggling to score points, and the winning formula for Sunday will have to be similar to what it’s been down the stretch: defense, defense, and more defense. Slowing down Patterson is a huge step to winning this game and moving on to the postseason.
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Old 01-04-2022, 01:40 PM   #15
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Re: Rams will have to play 4 quarters next week vs Niners ...

^^
I'm sure Adebo will have a big chip on his shoulder in rd 2 vs Patterson. That long pass play from Ryan to Patterson sealed our fate.

I think Adebo slipped but initially, he had good position.
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Old 01-04-2022, 02:46 PM   #16
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Re: Rams will have to play 4 quarters next week vs Niners ...

Originally Posted by K Major View Post
The last tweet I read from Jeff Duncan is that Ramz season is over. Apparently, he's been dealing with a severe knee injury for over a month now.

IIRC he attempted to play in the Dallas game (week 13) but must have aggravated the knee. Based on the timeline, it's gotta be a severe MCL sprain. You could tell early on in the season, something wasn't quite right because he hasn't been the dominant RT we are accustomed to seeing.

Even if we "sneak" into the post-season, I don't think we'll see Ryan suit up at any point.

Unfortunate .


That sucks but if TA can come back they can kick Hurst to RT, which I do like him at RT.
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Old 01-04-2022, 02:49 PM   #17
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Re: Rams will have to play 4 quarters next week vs Niners ...

Originally Posted by AsylumGuido View Post
I would have expected him to be placed on IR if his season was indeed over. That's what's puzzling me. Of course, with the COVID Reserve listing they can keep him available without burning a 53 man roster spot.

I don’t understand that too, AG. You’d think they’d put him on IR like they did everyone else that had a longer than three week heal time
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Old 01-04-2022, 02:56 PM   #18
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Re: Rams will have to play 4 quarters next week vs Niners ...

Originally Posted by Lord_Saint83 View Post
I don’t understand that too, AG. You’d think they’d but him IR like they did everyone else that had a longer than three week heal time
Exactly! It's like they actually think he can return at any moment. It makes no sense.

K_Major, was that Duncan tweet based on something he had actually heard or was it his "feeling" that Ramczyk wasn't done for the season?
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Old 01-04-2022, 03:17 PM   #19
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Re: Rams will have to play 4 quarters next week vs Niners ...

Originally Posted by AsylumGuido View Post
Exactly! It's like they actually think he can return at any moment. It makes no sense.

K_Major, was that Duncan tweet based on something he had actually heard or was it his "feeling" that Ramczyk wasn't done for the season?
All I remember reading Duncan saying in his tweet was "his sources" ...
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Old 01-04-2022, 05:39 PM   #20
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Re: Rams will have to play 4 quarters next week vs Niners ...

If we win, our chances of making the playoffs is 65.5986%(the odds of a Rams victory) according to simulations. This is not factoring in some small favorable tweaks based on the health of the lineups that are expected to play. We take care of business I'm pretty confident we'll make it. I'm super confident in the defense. Whether the offense shows up will decide our season. This has been captain obvious giving you all the information you already know.
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