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Rams' Barron, Cooper active for playoff meeting with Falcons

07 January 2018

In his third season in the league, Gurley II is one of the favorites to win the NFL Most Valuable Player Award in 2017, amassing 2,093 yards from scrimmage and 19 total touchdowns.

The touchdown reception was the seventh for Jones in eight postseason games. In the last game he played this season, a Week 16 win for the Rams against the Tennessee Titans in Nashville, Gurley II became just the third player in National Football League history to have at least 100 yards rushing and 150 yards receiving in the same game, joining Ollie Matson (1954) and Herschel Walker (1986).

Atlanta put points on the board for a second-straight trip down the field, getting a 54-yard field goal from Matt Bryant - his fourth of the game. That 42-14 loss to the Falcons was a catalyst in the Rams' transformation from LA laughingstocks to NFC West champions, because coach Jeff Fisher was sacked the next day. Second-year receiver Pharoh Cooper, who was selected to the Pro Bowl as a kick returner, fumbled late in the first quarter to set up Atlanta's first touchdown to give the Falcons a 13-0 lead early in the second quarter.

Goff was not the only young Rams player who was off on Saturday. Cooper bobbled several other kicks as jitters were clearly a factor.

When asked about his biggest surprise this season, Phillips quipped: "Aaron Donald".

The Rams already had a solid defense last season under coordinator Gregg Williams. Phillips has been a head coach, a defensive mastermind and a steady mentor to generations of football talent during an all-encompassing career, and he shows zero signs of slowing down.

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The NFL's top offense finally got untracked when Goff hit rookie Kupp on a 14-yard scoring strike to pull the Rams to within 13-7 with 2:34 left in the first half after they were held scoreless in the first quarter for only the third time this season.

Notwithstanding the way the Super Bowl ended, most expected a smoother ride this season.

No one has benefitted more from McVay's arrival than Todd Gurley and Jared Goff, and both will be crucial to a win over the defending NFC champs in the first post-season game in Los Angeles since 1986. Matt Ryan, who was 21 of 30 for 218 yards, added a scoring pass to Julio Jones for sixth-seeded Atlanta (11-6).

Former Buffalo Bills receivers Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins have found a home in Los Angeles. The Falcons capped it off on a TJ Duckett 6-yard TD for a 47-17 lead and ultimately the final score.

But if Manuel's defence can shut down the Rams run game and control possession offensively, the Falcons will have a chance to upset high-flying L.A. on the road.

Rams' Barron, Cooper active for playoff meeting with Falcons