ATL-LA grades: Matt Ryan leads Falcons offense to win
Atlanta Falcons 42, Los Angeles Rams 14
Here are the top-graded players and biggest storylines from Atlanta’s 42-14 win over Los Angeles.
Quarterback grade: Matt Ryan, 79.8
Solid game from Ryan leads Falcons offense to win
While Ryan didn’t need to do much, he was very effective and made the throws when he had to. He didn’t throw deep often, but he was successful when he did. On passes more than 20 yards downfield, Ryan completed all three that he attempted for 92 yards and two touchdowns. He was equally impressive both against the blitz and when the Rams sat back in coverage, posting an equal 126.6 QB rating in both situations.
Top offensive grades:
G Andy Levitre, 83.9
QB Matt Ryan, 79.8
HB Tevin Coleman, 75.1
C Alex Mack, 74.8
WR Aldrick Robinson, 72.7
Run game relatively ineffective despite big time win
The Falcons were blessed with good field position off of turnovers and big play offense, but they were rarely able to establish any big drives. A lot of this was due to their run game struggles. As a unit, they gained just 66 yards on the ground. Only 14 of those yards came before contact, on 25 carries. The offensive line didn’t help much, with Levitre being the only lineman to post a run block grade above 75.0 (he was 84.5). Coleman made the most of his opportunities, forcing two missed tackles and gaining 30 yards after contact on eight carries.
Top defensive grades:
LB Deion Jones, 90.9
ED Vic Beasley, 87.9
S Ricardo Allen, 81.8
S Keanu Neal, 81.0
ED Courney Upshaw, 77.7
Monster game from Vic Beasley sets the tone for Falcons defense
This was yet another strong game rushing the passer for edge defender Vic Beasley, who had his fourth multi-sack game of the season. He finished with three sacks and added three quarterback hurries when rushing the passer, good for an 88.7 pass rush grade. One of those sacks was an incredibly impressive strip sack fumble that he returned for a touchdown. Linebacker Deion Jones chipped in with an extremely impressive 95.4 coverage grade, in part thanks to a pass breakup and an interception.
Quarterback grade: Jared Goff, 42.2
Small positives outweighed by bad decisions and poor throws from Goff in loss
Goff occasionally made some nice throws that highlighted why the Rams traded up to draft him, but there were far too many errors still. He made some poor coverage reads that led to interceptions. He had some throws that he missed on. He really struggled when the Falcons sat back in coverage, completing just 19-of-34 passes for 166 yards and two interceptions when he wasn’t blitzed. It should be noted that once again Goff got little help from his receivers, who dropped five passes.
Top offensive grades:
T Greg Robinson, 79.0
C Tim Barnes, 76.1
G Andrew Donnal, 75.0
T Rob Havenstein, 73.9
G Rodger Saffold, 72.9
Offensive line being top five-graded players shows the struggles of Rams skill players
While the offensive line didn’t grade anything more than slightly above average, this just goes to show what kind of a day it was for this offense. They allowed pressure on 25 percent of Goff’s dropbacks and had some solid run blocking grades. But WR Tavon Austin (71.1) was the highest-graded skill position player, and even he had two dropped passes. RB Todd Gurley (70.2) gained just 60 yards on 16 carries. He gained just 31 of those yards after contact and managed to force only one missed tackle.
Top defensive grades:
CB Trumaine Johnson, 86.6
ED Eugene Sims, 77.9
S Maurice Alexander, 75.6
DI Michael Brockers, 74.6
DI Aaron Donald, 69.8
Rams usually-dominant front seven fails to make much of an impact
The Rams have found themselves in close games at times this year largely due to the play of a very strong front seven. But against the Falcons they had a very hard time establishing any kind of dominance up front. Star Aaron Donald was effective rushing the passer, with a sack, a hit and two hurries, but had a run defense grade of just 42.6. Overall the Rams had just seven plays in which they got pressure on Falcons’ QB Matt Ryan, in 31 dropbacks (22.5 percent)
PFF Game-Ball Winner: Deion Jones, LB, Falcons
PFF’s player grading process includes multiple reviews, which may change the grade initially published in order to increase its accuracy. Learn more about how we grade and access grades for every player through each week of the NFL season by subscribing to Player Grades.