Rams Vs. Falcons Week 2 Preview: L.A. Looking For First Win Of 2022 Season
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams will look to get rid of the bad taste in their mouth when the Atlanta Falcons come to town for Week 2 of the 2022 season.

Los Angeles looked like a shell of the Super Bowl team against Buffalo last week, but there’s too much talent and experience across the roster to believe they won’t figure it out. Fortunately, the Falcons are looking at a rebuilding situation which means the Rams have a real opportunity to right the ship and build some momentum.

Rams Defense vs. Falcons Offense

The current NFL Defensive Ranking has Los Angeles’ defense ranked #28 in the league after one game. Last week, the defense stepped up in the first half against the Bills by forcing a couple of turnovers but faltered down the stretch. They should like the chances against the Falcons much better than vs. the Bills.

Marcus Mariota, like Josh Allen, is a dual-threat quarterback but is not the same level of passer and runner. The defensive line should be able to contain Mariota in the pocket, though he’s capable of scrambling with his legs to extend plays.

Atlanta’s receivers leave much to be desired, though they have talented young cornerstones in Kyle Pitts and Drake London. Both are big-body players capable of winning contested balls, so this could be an area the Falcons look to exploit against the Rams’ secondary.

A wild card to look out for is Cordarrell Patterson, who had a big afternoon against the New Orleans Saints in Week 1. The veteran plays running back but is more than capable as a receiver, so L.A. should expect him to see a fair amount of touches.

Rams Offense vs. Falcons Defense

The offense really struggled in Week 1 against the Buffalo Bills as the offensive line failed to hold up against their 4-man rush. However, the Falcons don’t represent the same pass-rushing threat so the Rams should be able to give Matthew Stafford time to throw the football.

Cam Akers only saw 12 snaps, and head coach Sean McVay stressed the need to see more urgency from him. Darrell Henderson saw the bulk of the work, but Akers’ usage against Atlanta will be worth monitoring as McVay previously said he’d like to utilize both his backs.

Another player to watch is Allen Robinson, who was only targeted twice despite playing nearly every snap. McVay came out and said he needed to be more intentional about giving Robinson more opportunities and Stafford echoed that sentiment when he admitted he could do a better job of spreading the ball around. Los Angeles heavily invested in the veteran wideout, so expect him to receive more looks.

Keys To Victory

1. Spread the ball around

The Falcons have a great young corner in A.J. Terrell, who figures to spend time matched up against Cooper Kupp. Kupp should command the most targets per usual, but Stafford should look to get the rest of the receivers involved early to establish more rhythm.

2. Get pressure on Marcus Mariota

Los Angeles is heavily favored to win which means Mariota will likely be forced into passing down situations. The Rams failed to generate much pressure against Allen, so they’ll need to take advantage of their opportunities and put Mariota under duress.