The Atlanta Falcons are coming off a huge, emotional win over the Baltimore Ravens and have a Week 12 matchup against the Green Bay Packers, a trendy Super Bowl pick entering the season.
The St. Louis Rams are a young team with a lot to prove, who just had a tough overtime loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
This is the definition of a trap game.
The Rams have a surprisingly strong defense this year, currently at sixth in the NFL, giving up just 18.2 points per game. Their average of 97.8 opponent rushing yards per game is also sixth in the league.
Like the Falcons, their numbers against the pass aren't great, but it's points that matter. Matt Ryan and Roddy White will surely look to take advantage of their suspect pass defense, however.
Unlike Atlanta, St. Louis' offense has struggled mightily and has had trouble with turnovers.
The Falcons' offense is in the top-10 in total yards per game, rushing yards per game and points per game. Its 19 takeaways and plus-nine turnover differential also place near the top.
The Rams are near the bottom in yards per game, passing yards per game and points per game, and are mediocre in terms of rushing yards. They are just plus-three in turnover differential and the offense has 12 giveaways.
St. Louis will have the advantage of playing at home, but the game is still being played in a dome. The Falcons are 6-0 indoors this year.
This will by no means be a walk in the park for Atlanta, though.
The Rams are in a similar situation to how the Falcons were in 2008, breaking in a rookie quarterback in Sam Bradford.
Bradford has played well this year, completing 60 percent of his passes and throwing 12 touchdowns. St. Louis has had the misfortune, though, of having its receiver corps decimated by injuries.
The Rams still have a very good running back in Steven Jackson. He is good running the ball and is skilled as a receiver. He is a threat to break the type of big play that has haunted Atlanta at times this year.
On a better team, Jackson would be putting up some monster statistics, similar to those earlier in his career, and the Falcons will need to contain him.
In all likelihood, the Rams will need to play one of their best games of the season to beat Atlanta.
The Falcons will need to avoid a letdown, like the one they almost had against San Francisco in Week 4 after beating New Orleans a week earlier.
They surely learned a lesson from that experience and will be favored in this game.
However, as the saying goes, anything can happen on any given Sunday.
Atlanta will need to be focused to win four straight for the second time this year and prevent disappointment.
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