This Los Angeles Rams team has got to get it together. Luckily, they are playing the Atlanta Falcons.
LA just hasn’t been the same this year. An offense that looked unstoppable last season has become somewhat vanilla. And a defense that struck fear into the hearts of offensive coordinators last year has proven beatable. Sean McVay is going to have to use some of his celebrated creativity to get back on top.
The problem on offense has been twofold. Firstly, Jared Goff is having a bad year. Secondly, his offensive line can’t protect him. Sacked four times last week, Goff has looked rattled and inconsistent this season.
However, Aaron Donald continues to lead a strong defense. Last week against a good 49ers team, he had two sacks, seven tackles, and a forced fumble. But the D has had some off weeks this season, and the secondary has been beaten in a few really bad outings, showing their age. This defensive unit is good but not great, and good may not be good enough in the NFC West.
Of course, the Rams still do a lot well, with a very good receiving corps and No. 11 defense by DVOA. So let’s talk about a team that doesn’t do much of anything well: the Falcons.
Matt Ryan has been a bright spot for this Falcons team. He’s averaging 335 yards a game, for instance, and he isn’t turning the ball over as often as other signal callers on losing squads. In the narrow loss to the Cardinals last week, Ryan had a nice stat line of 356 yards, four touchdowns, and no picks.
What Ryan has surrounding him on both sides of the ball, however, is a real problem. The secondary has been injured and awful. Last week, they gave Kyler Murray his best week in the NFL, and this has been a trend. Atlanta consistently allows opposing QBs their best games of the season.
Atlanta is also last place in sacks across the entire league, and the team is bottom-10 in interceptions. Starting running back Devonta Freeman is only averaging 45.8 yards per game. Even the kicking has been bad. As a result, this is looking like a lost season for the Falcons.
The Rams aren’t perfect. We know that after watching them drop two straight to division opponents. But they should be able to beat a Falcons team that is good at little besides tormenting their own quarterback.
Los Angeles Rams vs. Atlanta Falcons
- When: Sunday, Oct. 20 at 1pm ET
- Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia
- Streaming: Fox, NFL Sunday Ticket
There are a number of options for watching Rams vs. Falcons on streaming platforms that carry FOX. However, consult a coverage map to see what game your regional channel will be playing.
If a game is not being carried in your area, the only option might be an NFL Sunday Ticket package.
Los Angeles Rams vs. Atlanta Falcons live stream: How to watch NFL online
- Cost: $54.99 per month
- FuboTV devices: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Android TV, iOS and Android devices
- FuboTV local channels: Fox, NBC, CBS (check local availability here)
If you’re a big-time sports fan, FuboTV is your best streaming service option. If you love international soccer and you’re a Spanish speaker, FuboTV also offers various add-on packages, including Fubo Latino and Fubo Português. FuboTV’s basic plan showcases nearly 100 channels and includes NFL Network. At $54.99 per month, you’ll also get FS1, FS2, NBCSN, NBA TV, Big Ten Network, Pac 12 Network, BeIn Sports, and CBS Sports Network, along with premium channels like FX/FXX/FXM. The only notable omission for sports fans is ESPN. You can add Fubo’s Sports Plus package for an additional $8.99 per month, which allows you to stream NFL RedZone, (Here’s the complete FuboTV channels list.)
- Cost: $44.99 per month
- Hulu devices: Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, and iOS and Android devices
- Hulu local channels: ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, the CW (check your local availability here)
Hulu with Live TV includes sports programming among its offerings, including ESPN and FS1, and as a subscriber to the service, you’ll get free access to Hulu’s sizable on-demand library. (Check out the full list of Hulu Live TV channels.)
AirTV solves one of Sling’s biggest problems: The inability to receive all of your local channels. By purchasing a basic AirTV for $79.99 or the AirTV Player for $119.99, you can merge those local channels into your Sling TV, (or on your mobile device if you have the basic AirTV). As the Daily Dot wrote in its AirTV review, “it’s practically magic.” While select football games are no longer on Sling after its contract impasse with Fox—which for now means no Fox, FS1, or FS2 via Sling—you can still catch the Fox telecasts with AirTV.
The basic AirTV is a dual-tuner streaming device, while the AirTV Player is basically an upgraded Chromecast that has Netflix preinstalled. You’ll still need to own an HD antenna because even though AirTV gets you access to your local channels, it doesn’t actually physically show them to you.
But AirTV—which has no monthly fee—serves to strengthen one of Sling’s biggest weaknesses compared to other live streaming services like Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, and PlayStation Vue. All those services have plenty of local channels.
While select NFL and college football games (on Fox, FS1, and FS2) are no longer on Sling, you can still catch Fox games with AirTV.
- Cost: $44.99-$79.99 per month
- PlayStation Vue devices: PlayStation 3 and 4, Roku, Amazon Fire, Google Chromecast, Kodi, iOS and Android devices
- PlayStation Vue local channels: NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS (enter your ZIP code here to check your availability)
If you’d like to watch live NFL games directly from your PS4, PlayStation Vue is your best bet. PlayStation also works with streaming devices like Roku and Amazon Fire products, but what separates PlayStation from the rest of the streaming services is that it’s also compatible with Kodi. No matter how you stream, you’ll get to choose from four tiers of channels—all but the cheapest include NFL Network. From there, you can also add NFL RedZone as part of the $10-per-month Sports Pack, which also unlocks ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN Classic, Longhorn Network, Outside TV, and NBCUniversal regional sports networks. You can see the full list of PlayStation Vue channels here. Two other great perks: You can stream on up to five devices at once, and there’s also unlimited cloud DVR.
5) YouTube TV
- Cost: $50 per month
- YouTube TV devices: Google Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Xbox One, iOS and Android devices
- YouTube TV local channels: NBC, CBS, Fox, ABC, the CW (enter your ZIP code here to check your availability)
Cost: $73.99 per month for four months, or one single payment of $293.96
There are two—and only two—ways of acquiring NFL Sunday Ticket without DirecTV. There’s NFLSundayTicket.TV, which costs $73.99 per month for four months. It’s everything you love NFL Sunday Ticket but online-only. You can stream from pretty much any device that connects to the internet (but only on one device at a time).
You can also upgrade to the NFLST.TV Max bundle for a total of $99 per month for four months or one single payment of $395.99. You can also add on NFL Game Pass, which allows you to watch replays of every game after they air, for $50 for the full season.
There’s another way to watch NFL Sunday Ticket without DirecTV: Amazon Prime. While you can’t pay for the package using Amazon Prime, you can at least watch all of the games on the service. To start, first download the NFL Sunday Ticket channel on Amazon Prime. It’s free. From there, you’ll just need to sign in with your subscription credentials.
College students can purchase NFL Sunday Ticket at a discounted price through NFLSundayTicket.TV U.
Fantasy football: Who should I start?
All wide receivers: Last week was a tough one for fantasy owners invested heavily in this passing attack. However, don’t let one bad game scare you. It has been tough to figure out who is the top option in LA this year, but if you have Cooper Kupp, Brandin Cooks, or Robert Woods, they are starting this week. Even if Jared Goff hasn’t been great, his receivers are still putting up yards.
Austin Hooper, tight end: Hooper has been an excellent fantasy option all season, and the Rams D isn’t quite what it once was. Expect Hooper to continue on his 80 yards per game pace and maybe get in the end zone.
Los Angeles Rams vs. Atlanta Falcons: Why it matters
Following two dropped games in a row in their competitive division, the Rams need to beat up on some bad teams to get right. This is a good opportunity, and with the Bengals and Steelers in the next three weeks, this two-game skid could soon be a distant memory.
If LA drops any of these games, however, they could start to fall out of the conversation in what might be the NFL’s best division.
Meanwhile, for Atlanta, the rest of this season is about figuring out if this roster’s Super Bowl window has closed. While Matt Ryan is still playing at a high level, this team is far removed from the championship contender it was a few years ago.
Ryan is 34, so he will probably be around for one more rebuild. They will have to make it count. The era of Dan Quinn as head coach may be coming to an end.
In short, don’t expect the Falcons to turn things around this week. Despite their flaws, the Rams ought to get back on track with a solid victory here.
- How to watch NFL RedZone without cable
- How to watch NFL Sunday Ticket without a DirecTV satellite
- How to watch NFL Network online (without cable)
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