65 degrees, partly cloudy
Key Coaching Decision #1 (LAR trails 13-7 / 1st & Goal ATL 7 / 0:20 Q2):
- Facing 1st & Goal with 20 seconds remaining and no timeouts left in the first half, Los Angeles called a play with three in breaking routes and a wheel route from the running back. QB Goff threw to the wheel route and it was initially ruled a catch and tackle in bounds, forcing Los Angeles to rush to the line of scrimmage and spike the ball with only five seconds left in the first half. The catch was ultimately overturned in replay, but the decision to call a play with a high probability of the offensive player being tackled in bounds resulted in a lowering of the play calling and game clock management grades for LA.
Key Coaching Decision #2 (ATL leads 13-10 / 4th & Inches LAR 20 / 9:44 Q3)
- On their opening drive of the 2nd half, Atlanta elected to go for it on a 4th & Inches instead of kicking the field goal from the Los Angeles 20-yard line. The conversion was successful, but a small downgrade in play calling for not taking the points, especially on the road.
Key Coaching Decision #3 (ATL leads 19-13 / 2nd & 13 ATL 38 / 7:22 Q4)
- Los Angeles made some defensive adjustments in the 4th quarter that appeared to be working. They were gaining some leverage back against Atlanta’s running game by stacking the box; at times lining up with five down defensive lineman. Seemingly sensing the aggressive nature of Los Angeles’ defensive play calling, Atlanta called a wide receiver screen that is a perfect counter to the six-man blitz Los Angeles had called on the play, and the screen pass sprung for a 52-yard gain. Atlanta scored a touchdown two plays later. This was an excellent counter-punch to the defensive pressure Los Angeles was dialing up in the 4th quarter. Credit to Atlanta’s play calling and in game adjustments.
- Los Angeles was charged with 12 men on the field at 12:22 Q3, resulting in a lower of their play calling grade for the miscommunication.
- The Los Angeles defensive line has been praised this season for their pass rushing ability, but has also been exposed at times for struggling to stop the run. In the second half of this game, Atlanta made the proper adjustments that allowed them to establish the run by exploiting Los Angeles’ undersized defensive line. The Atlanta offensive line looked a cohesive and effective unit for the run game in the second half, and we credit this as part of Atlanta’s in-game adjustment grade for this game.