|National Football League|
|10:00 AM PT11:00 AM MT12:00 PM CT1:00 PM ET17:00 GMT1:00 AM 北京时间10:00 AM MST12:00 PM EST12:00 PM CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00 , September 15, 2013|
Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia Attendance: 70,056
St. Louis Rams at Atlanta Falcons
- Including postseason, the Falcons have won four of the last five meetings versus St. Louis (since 2004). However, going back to their years in Los Angeles, the Rams lead the all-time series, 47-27-2 (includes 0-1 in postseason).
- After beating Arizona last Sunday, 27-24, the Rams are 1-0 for the first time since 2006. St. Louis hasn't opened 2-0 in any season since 2001.
- The Falcons lost their season opener at New Orleans, 23-17. But since Mike Smith and Matt Ryan each joined Atlanta in 2008, the Falcons are 20-3 in games following losses, the highest winning percentage (.870) by any team.
- Jared Cook made his Rams debut by totaling 141 receiving yards in Week 1. That is the highest single-game total in Rams history by a tight end. Cook also caught two touchdown passes for the first time in 60 career games.
- Falcons running back Steven Jackson will be facing the team for which he gained 10,138 rushing yards between 2004 and 2012. Jackson accounted for 68.1 percent of the Rams' rushing yards over those nine seasons, the highest rate by any player in the league.
- Matt Ryan is 8-0 in his career when facing NFC West opponents. The only quarterback since the merger to win more games against a single division without ever losing was Ken Stabler versus the NFC Central (15-0).
- Lions owner Ford dies of pneumonia at 88
- Packers keep CB Shields for $39M, 4 yrs.
- Agent says RB Mendenhall retiring at 26
- Jets release CB Cromartie, save millions
- Vikes keep DE Griffen for 5 yrs., $42.5M
By JONAH ROSENBLUM
(AP) -- Sam Bradford was well-protected in the St. Louis Rams' opener by an offensive line that included the newly acquired Jake Long.
The Atlanta Falcons may wish they had made a bid for Long as well.
Long and the Rams will get a look at a cornerstone of their past in Steven Jackson when they visit the Falcons on Sunday.
The Rams hadn't started with a win since 2006, and the delight they took in Sunday's 27-24 comeback victory over Arizona was obvious.
"Watching the game clock tick to zero, that's my most favorite part," coach Jeff Fisher said. "You know, we're really excited."
They haven't been 2-0 since winning the NFC championship in 2001.
The Rams are in position to equal that mark because their pass protection continued to trend upward last week. St. Louis gave up a league-worst 55 sacks in 2011 and 35 last season, then didn't allow any Sunday.
"I can't say enough about those guys up front," Bradford said. "They played outstanding, and I think it shows that we've taken leaps and bounds from where we were last year."
Long, the No. 1 overall pick by Miami in the 2008 draft, went to the Pro Bowl in his first four seasons but allowed a career-high seven sacks last year.
On Sunday, he was part of a unit that helped the Rams not allow a sack for the third straight game - the first time they've achieved that feat since 1973.
"Not that there's much carry-over from last year, but at least we're off to the right start," said Fisher, who said Bradford was hit just six times Sunday.
The Falcons wish they could say the same, as they allowed three sacks amid pressure that played a key role in their 23-17 loss to New Orleans last week.
Matt Ryan was forced to throw the ball away on a third-and-goal in the first quarter. He absorbed a 10-yard sack and an intentional grounding penalty to send the Falcons' promising final drive of the half to a premature end.
Ryan was hit on six other occasions.
"We don't want Matt to be under any pressure," center Peter Konz said. "We don't want anyone touching Matt, much less sacking him."
Some of these struggles are likely the result of the state of flux on the Falcons' offensive line. Left tackle Sam Baker and left guard Justin Blalock are the only holdovers from last year's starting unit, while Konz has shifted from guard to center to replace the retired Todd McClure.
Lamar Holmes made his first career start at right tackle Sunday, and Garrett Reynolds, with 14 starts since 2009, started at right guard.
"I'm absolutely confident we've got right guys," coach Mike Smith said. "The biggest jump you have during the season is always from Week 1 to Week 2. We're playing a lot of younger guys who have not played much. This was a great learning experience for them."
They'll get more such experience from a St. Louis team that led the NFC with 52 sacks last year. The Rams looked dangerous again in their opener, with Robert Quinn accounting for three of their four sacks.
St. Louis didn't run the ball particularly well in the first game of the post-Steven Jackson era, though, compiling 67 yards on 24 carries.
Jackson, who set the franchise record with 10,138 rushing yards over nine seasons, got off to a promising start in Atlanta with 11 rushes for 77 yards and five receptions for 45 yards. He did have a key drop on third-and-goal, however, with the Falcons looking to score a last-second touchdown.
On fourth down, Ryan's pass was tipped and intercepted to seal the defeat.
For St. Louis, Greg Zuerlein helped ensure the opposite ending with a 38-yard tying field goal and a 48-yard winner in the fourth quarter.
"Basically, I stay calm, swing like I know how and the rest takes care of itself," Zuerlein said. "I don't even know the distances when I go out there, to be honest. I just go out there and try to do my job."
Jared Cook, in his first game for the Rams after four seasons with Tennessee, overcame an early fumble to record a franchise-record 141 yards at the tight end position.
"I told him when we came back to the sideline, I said, 'Hey bro, be ready. It's coming right back to you,'" Bradford said. "It would have been easy for him to get down out there. He showed a ton of maturity and confidence."
Atlanta seeks to avoid its first 0-2 start since 2007.
Updated September 11, 2013