No, I am not, Garber said, and not at this time. But I said then and I’ll repeat it again, that I believe Kathy is one of the most experienced soccer people in the country, and as a former player and administrator I think she’s really qualified to lead the federation.
The Rams (11-6) scored the final 10 points of the second quarter to cut Atlanta’s lead to 13-10 at halftime. The Falcons dominated time of possession, 37:35-22:25, and a pair of clock-chewing drives in the second half resulted in field goals before Matt Ryan floated a 8 -yard touchdown pass to Julio Jones with 5:48 remaining to put the game out of reach. Jones finished with nine receptions for 94 yards as Ryan went 21 of 30 for 218 yards.
Playoff football is different than regular-season football Goff made a few fantastic throws, but he was wildly inconsistent. Goff finished 24 of 45 for 259 yards and a touchdown but it wasn’t enough to beat a Falcons defense loaded up to stop the run. The Falcons corralled MVP candidate Todd Gurley, who led the NFC in rushing despite sitting out the season finale, for much of the game. Gurley finished with 101 yards on 14 carries, though 61 yards came in the fourth quarter.
The Saints had to be a run-heavy ball-control team this season to help protect a defense that, although much improved, still had holes at plenty of positions other than defensive end Cameron Jordan and rookie cornerback Marshon Lattimore. Another way to protect a defense, especially one that is better suited to playing the pass with pressure and outside coverage, is to render a team one-dimensional.
After the wild-card win over Carolina, they are slight favorites with a 51-percent win probability, according to AccuScore’s simulations. Minnesota hasn’t been easy to predict during the season, as only eight games were correct in AccuScore’s predictions. However, Saints games have been correct 12 times. On Sunday, we will see which team in this coin flip heads to the NFC championship game.
However, the cagey playoff points trends didn’t apply to the Falcons a year ago, when they ran up the score and nearly won the Super Bowl. The Falcons posted over 30 points in every postseason game a season ago, but that was a different offensive coordinator. During the 2017 regular season, AccuScore’s straight-up picks were correct 10 times in Rams games, and nine times in Falcons games.