Falcons show playoff poise in 26-13 win over upstart LA Rams
LOS ANGELES /January 6, 2018 (AP)(STL.News) — The Atlanta Falcons jumped to an early 13-point lead before the Rams mounted two swift scoring drives. Los Angeles went to the Coliseum locker room at halftime with just a three-point deficit amid raucous cheers from a home crowd thirsty for playoff success.
And then Matt Ryan and the tough, tested Falcons showed the upstart Rams what postseason poise is all about.
Ryan passed for 218 yards and hit Julio Jones for an 8-yard touchdown with 5:48 to play, and the defending NFC champion Falcons advanced from the wild-card round with a 26-13 victory over the Rams on Saturday night.
Devonta Freeman rushed for an early score and Matt Bryant kicked four field goals for the Falcons (11-6), who spoiled the Rams’ first playoff game in 13 years with a methodical performance derived from hard-earned experience.
Atlanta’s journey to the Super Bowl last season ended infamously with that blown 28-3 lead against New England. In their first playoff game since, the Falcons allowed no surprises from the NFC West champion Rams (11-6).
“We knew it was a situation we’ve been through before,” Atlanta defensive tackle Dontari Poe said. “We just had to keep playing and use what we’ve