Rams confident youth can offset Falcons' experience

Sean McVay

Watch Julio Jones pull in a touchdown reception in the NFL playoffs

Los Angeles would get on the scoreboard in the second quarter when quarterback Jared Goff would find Cooper Kupp for a touchdown, then get to within a field goal when Sam Ficken connected on a field goal just before halftime, cutting the Falcons lead to 13-10.

Atlanta Falcons S Keanu Neal (22) and OLB De'Vondre Campbell are part of the defensive team that will face the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Wild Card Round this weekend.

Considering Gurley's pass-catching prowess this season (64 catches, 788 yards, six touchdowns), he may end up as the Rams' leading receiver. "When I say that, I have a whole lot of respect for experience and what that does and the value that it provides".

The Falcons snuck into the postseason with a week 17 victory and have locked up the second wild card spot setting them up for a date on Saturday with the resurgent Los Angeles Rams who have been remarkable to watch this season and are a very unsafe team on both sides of the football.

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When asked about his biggest surprise this season, Phillips quipped: "Aaron Donald. But I do think that we've got a confident group, a mature group for a young football team".

The ghosts of the Super Bowl collapse could hardly be exorcised by one playoff win, but the perseverance the Falcons showed in Los Angeles should give them something to build on.

Atlanta still has plenty of firepower on offense with running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman and wide receiver Julio Jones, among others.

Now, it's impossible to expect Atlanta's defence to bottle up Rams star Todd Gurley completely, especially on the ground AND in the passing game...

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In his third season in the league, Gurley II is one of the favorites to win the NFL Most Valuable Player Award in 2017, amassing 2,093 yards from scrimmage and 19 total touchdowns. Jones, who was targeted 10 times, caught nine of Ryan's passes for 94 yards and the aforementioned game-sealing touchdown.

The biggest X-factor remains youth. But as the week moved along, the news about player availability continued to get better and better. "And we prepare better than anyone else in the league".

But if Manuel's defence can shut down the Rams run game and control possession offensively, the Falcons will have a chance to upset high-flying L.A. on the road. Do exactly what we've been doing throughout this entire season.

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