5 things to know before today’s Falcons at Rams’ kickoff — Julio Jones will not play 

todd gurley, st. louis rams

Here’s Todd Gurley from last season as a St. Louis Rams. (Chris Lee/St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Here are 5 things to mull over before today’s 4:25 p.m. kickoff between the Atlanta Falcons (7-5) and the Los Angeles Rams (4-8) at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.


JULIO JONES UPDATE, 2:10 p.m. — Team announces that Julio Jones will not play vs. Rams today after a light warmup.

JULIO JONES UPDATE, 1:20 p.m. — Coach Dan Quinn told the AJC wide receiver Julio Jones will work out in about 40 minutes. He said Jones is trying to play, but he’s ready to make the tough call. He said he won’t play him at 50 percent.

JULIO JONES UPDATE, 10:40 a.m: The Falcons are set to arrive at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum at 12:30 p.m. The Jones’ turf toe decision is legitimately up in the air, according to the team. Based on how he feels after running, the group — Jones, head coach Dan Quinn and the trainers/doctor — will discuss and make a decision.

JULIO JONES UPDATE: He didn’t practice at all last week. He did go through the teams Saturday walk-through.

Jones, who’s expected to test out the injury during warmups in a few hours, will be a game-time decision.

“We’ll do some of the stuff tomorrow at the walk-through,” Quinn said on Friday. “Then Sunday we’ll let him go out and run some full-speed routes, go through the process. It’s not the catching. We just want to see the full speed routes. That’s what the plan is. His intent is right to go out and play. We are anticipating that, but we’ll see where it goes on Sunday morning.”

1. Tale of the tape. 2016 Regular Season Statistics Rankings

Falcons                                                             Rams
32.2 (1)         Points/Game                         23.4 (32)
412.0 (3)      Total Offense                         333.3 (32)
110.0 (9)      Net Rushing Yards/Game   98.8 (30)
302.0 (3)      Net Passing Yards/Game   234.6 (29)
29:47 (20)   Possession Average              29:26 (25)
27.6 (29)      Opponent Points/Game       21.8 (15)
381.7 (27)     Opponent Total Offense         345.0 (10)
100.8 (15)    Opp. Rushing Yards/Game     114.0 (21)
280.8 (32)    Opp. Passing Yards/Game    231.0 (9t)
+3 (11t)          Turnover Differential               -6 (26t)

2. Series record. This will be the  77th regular-season meeting between the Falcons and the Rams, former division foes in the old NFC West. The Rams lead 47-27-2. The Falcons won the last meeting with the St. Louis Rams 31-24 on Sept. 15, 2013. The Falcons won their last game against the Rams in Los Angeles, an 8-5 win on Oct. 2, 1994.

3. Key matchups. Here are three key matchups:

Falcons CB Jalen Collins vs. Rams WR Kenny Britt: Collins has played well in man-to-man and zone coverage in the three games he’s replaced Desmond Trufant. The Chiefs didn’t test him much last week as he had just one tackle and one pass breakup. Britt has caught 56 passes for 855 yards and five touchdowns. After a bumpy start to his career, Britt seems to have matured. “Kenny has played well for us this year,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. “He’s been consistent and he’s made some big plays.”

Falcons SS Keanu Neal vs. Rams TE Lance Kendricks: Neal was abused in coverage last week as the Falcons gave up eight catches for 140 yards to Kansas City’s Travis Kelce. Kendricks has 43 catches for 433 yards and two touchdowns. “Anytime he got into trouble with this one, we called it eye discipline, so those ones, if you’re playing man-to-man, where your eyes aren’t back on the quarterback, where you’re locked on your guy, those ones are fixable,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “With his intent and his mindset, I fully expect that to happen.”

Falcons LG Andy Levitre vs. Rams DT Aaron Donald: Levitre is having a strong second season with the Falcons. He’ll have to anchor and anticipate Donald’s quickness. He gave up a sack to Tampa Bay’s Gerald McCoy in their matchup earlier this season. Donald, a two-time Pro Bowler, is a disruptive force and has six sacks this season. He was ejected from a game earlier in the season after making contact with a referee.

4. NFL OFFICIALS: R: Clete Blakeman (34), FJ: Adrian Hill (29), U: Ramon George (128), SJ: Joe Larrew (73), HL: Hugo Cruz (94), BJ: Steve Patrick (17), LJ: Tony Veteri (36), RO: Rich Reel. The Falcons had Blakeman in Week Two against the Raiders, but for this game he has another crew.

 5. Todd Gurley Watch: Rams running back Todd Gurley has not been able to single-handily carry the Rams woeful offense. Gurley was named the NFL’s offensive rookie of the year after rushing for 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. But he has gone 15 consecutive games without rushing for more than 100 yards and had a season-low 11 carries in a 26-12 loss to the Patriots on Sunday. Gurley has rushed for 679 yards on 211 carries, 56.6 yards per game and 3.2 yards per carry. About the only way the Falcons could loss is if Gurley turns in a big-game and the Rams’ defense shut downs an Julio Jones-less Falcons offense.

The AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter and Noah Coslov talk about the spot the Falcons are in facing the Rams in week 14 and how Julio Jones’ turf toe will impact things in Los Angeles.

GAME 12: Chiefs 29, Falcons 28

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Falcons still control their playoff destiny

PHOTOS: Falcons have a bad day at the office

Matt Ryan tormented by Berry’s big interceptions

Beasley becomes a double-digit sacker

GAME 11: Falcons 38, Cardinals 19

5 things we learned from the Falcons’ win over the Cardinals

MARK BRADLEY: The Falcons keep getting better as they go

Julio Jones gets calls this time

Taylor Gabriel continues scoring streak in win over Cardinals

Coleman scores TD in return from injury

Falcons’ offensive line ‘stepped up to the task’

GAME 10: Eagles 24, Falcons 15

5 things we learned from the Falcons’ loss to the Eagles

Ryan, offense slowed down to a crawl

Perkins stalls key drive with costly penalty

Defense gets blown of the line of scrimmage

Keanu Neal can expect fine but Falcons’ biggest issue is injuries (Trufant and Tamme)

Falcons go into bye week wrong way — beat up by Eagles

What Dan Quinn had to say after the loss to the Eagles

What Matt Ryan had to say after the loss to the Eagles

What the Falcons had to say after the loss to the Eagles

PHOTOS: Falcons fall to the Eagles

GAME NINE: Falcons 43, Buccaneers 28

5 things we learned from the Falcons’ rout of the Bucs

GAME EIGHT: Falcons 33, Packers 32
 

GAME SEVEN: Chargers 33, Falcons 30 in OT

5 things we learned from the Falcons loss to the Chargers

Dan Quinn’s gamble with house-money backfires

6 penalties ‘unacceptable’ for Falcons offensive line

Philip Rivers confounds Falcons with short passes: ‘He picked us apart’

Matt Ryan’s late-game interception leads to overtime loss

PHOTOS: Chargers rally to beat Falcons

GAME SIX: Seahawks 26, Falcons 24

5 things we learned from the Falcons loss to the Seahawks

MARK BRADLEY: The Falcons didn’t win, but they made one guy believe (me)

MARK BRADLEY: The Falcons got jobbed but did themselves proud

Matt Ryan’s turnovers were costly

What Dan Quinn had to say after the 26-24 loss to Seattle

Seattle slows down Falcons’ running backs Freeman, Coleman

Ryan Schraeder, offensive line rebounds in second half

Julio Jones: ‘It was just a missed call’

What the Falcons had to say after the 26-24 loss to Seattle

What Matt Ryan had to say after the 26-24 loss to Seattle

Richard Sherman non-commital on pass interference non-call

PHOTOS: Falcons at Seahawks in Seattle

GAME FIVE: Falcons 23, Broncos 16

5 things we learned from the Falcons upset of Super Bowl champs

MARK BRADLEY: The Falcons rock a rookie in the Rockies

What Dan Quinn have to say after the win over Denver

Coleman amassed 163 yards to power the offense

Vic Beasley has breakout game with 3.5 sacks

Kemal Ishmael moved to linebacker, led team in tackles

What the Falcons had to say after the win over the Broncos

Photos: Falcons battle the Broncos

GAME FOUR: Falcons 48, Panthers 33

5 things we learned from the Falcons’ 48-33 win over the Panthers

Tweetcap: Falcons 48, Panthers 33

Old pro Freeney shows new trick with Falcons

Falcons’ rookie Neal holds on vs. Olsen

What Julio Jones had to say after the 48-33 win over the Panthers

What Dan Quinn had to say after the 48-33 win over the Panthers

What Matt Ryan had to say after the 48-33 win over the Panthers

Alford battled; Collins to return

Early view in NFC South isn’t what most expected; Falcons on top

GAME THREE: Falcons 45, Saints 32

5 things we learned from the Falcons’ 45-32 win over the Saints

Falcons, Saints protest with unity circle before game

REPORT CARD: Falcons earned high marks for drubbing Saints

What Dan Quinn had to say after the 45-32 win over the Saints

What Matt Ryan had to say after the 45-32 win over the Saints

What the Falcons had to say after the 45-32 win over the Saints

Keanu Neal makes strong debut for Falcons

Falcons’ Deion Jones runs for glory, not survival, in return home

AJC POWER RANKINGS: Falcons best in NFC South?

GAME TWO: Falcons 35, Raiders 28

5 things we learned from the Falcons’ win over the Raiders

Trufant’s heads-up play saves the day

Tight ends help to power offense

Weatherspoon plays strong in first start since 2013

Matthews, Schraeder held Mack sack-less

JEFF SCHULTZ: Falcons put on offensive show and win

What Matt Ryan had to say after beating the Raiders

What Dan Quinn had to say after the win over the Raiders

GAME ONE: Buccaneers 31, Falcons 24

5 things we learned from the Falcons’ loss to the Bucs

No sacks for new-look Falcons pass rush

Julio Jones not worried about his ankle injury

Falcons have a case of the “no-huddle” blues

REPORT CARD: Falcons can’t ‘gift’ opponents 17 points

FILM REVIEW: Beasley missing in action

AJC’S NFL POWER RANKINGS: Where are the Falcons?

Hageman charged is domestic violence case

 

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