Date/Time: September 15th, 1:00 PM ET
Spread: Falcons -6.5
The Dirty Birds are going to be ready to pounce in this one on Sunday afternoon. The NFC South favorites, the Atlanta Falcons are going to try to beat the NFL betting lines against a dark horse team in the NFC, the St. Louis Rams as a part of the Week 2 schedule.
St. Louis is a team that is really putting it together. The offense with QB Sam Bradford is probably a lot more efficient than you would think that it would be. He didn’t get sacked all game long, and he threw for 299 yards and two TDs. RB Darryl Richardson rumbled for 63 yards, though it took 20 carries to get there. TE Jared Cook had arguably the best debut of any offensive player playing on a new team in Week 1, as he had seven catches, 141 yards, and two scores, including the one that drew St. Louis within striking distance with 12:56 left to play in the game. That said, the game against the Arizona Cardinals wasn’t the easiest in the world. The defensive line did well on the ground, holding Arizona without a single rush for more than 11 yards on the day, and it came up with four sacks as well. However, in the back, the Rams still have some troubles. QB Carson Palmer ripped them for 327 yards and two scores.
The Falcons were bested by the New Orleans Saints last week, and they are going to have to win this one if they want to avoid the 0-2 start to the season. There is no shame in losing to New Orleans, especially in a game that really came right down to the wire, but with a potentially dangerous road trip to Miami and a game against the New England Patriots coming down the pike, this is a game that Head Coach Mike Smith will really want to win. QB Matt Ryan and his mates put up a solid effort in Week 1, as he threw for 304 yards and used all of his weapons with ease. WR Harry Douglas had a particularly notable game, though we know that he’ll be used less when WR Roddy White is truly 100% healthy and ready to play a full 60-70 plays. The key might be getting the ball in the hands of RB Steven Jackson more. Jackson had 11 carries for 77 yards and five receptions for 45 yards in a solid debut, but he is going to need to be utilized more, especially in this one against the team that he spent his entire career with prior to this year.
The one aspect of this game that we haven’t talked about is just how sharp St. Louis really is. The Rams are garnering just 30% of the betting action, yet this line is going in the wrong direction. Things that make you go, “Hmm…” Don’t be all that shocked if this is a game that comes down to a last second field goal one way or the other.
St. Louis Rams @ Atlanta Falcons Pick: St. Louis Rams +6.5
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.