Coming off a heartbreaking overtime loss against the San Francisco 49ers the St. Louis Rams find themselves with little respite, matched up against the 7-2 Atlanta Falcons in their toughest home challenge yet. Sam Bradford, 4-1 at the Edward Jones Dome in his brief career, will look to continue that trend against the Falcons, who are coming off narrow victories at home against Tampa Bay and Baltimore.
Bradford has come on strong since the start of October—he's got eight touchdowns and three interceptions in that timespan, with a completion percentage that's finally topped 60. He's remained an integral part of the Rams offense in his rookie season, averaging more than 37 attempts a game, which puts him sixth in the NFL. His wide receiving corps is still an open question—Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson have emerged as consistent targets, and Steven Jackson received a season high number of targets in last week's game, but Mizzou rookie Danario Alexander is a game-time decision, according to coach Steve Spagnuolo. The Rams did receive some good news when Rodger Saffold, their rookie left tackle, recovered more quickly than anticipated from a sprained right ankle that sidelined him against San Francisco.
Jackson is on pace for a sixth straight 1000-yard season, but slowed by several injuries he's on pace for a career-low average yards per rush, at 3.9. The Rams' inability to stretch the field has cost Jackson—though probably less than the groin injury, and the finger injury, and the back injury, and the knee injury—and a healthy Danario Alexander would be a major help, if such a thing were ever possible.
The Falcons come into the game with a chance to move two games ahead of the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay in the NFC South. They've been consistent, but since their 41-7 blowing-out of the Arizona Cardinals they've been winning narrowly, never by more than 10 points. They're 3-0 in games decided by fewer than six points; their expected win-loss record, according to Pro-Football-Reference, stands at 5.7-3.3.