By Michael Donovan

On the road last week, the Falcons went to Los Angeles and dispatched a Rams team that spent the season torching the NFL.

Atlanta has had a strange year: After having one of the most prolific offenses in NFL history last season, it returned this year to being simply good. (In between, there was that Super Bowl collapse.) But almost all of the key pieces are back from a year ago, and that showed against the Rams. Matt Ryan was efficient, Julio Jones made big plays, and they didn’t turn the ball over.

The most encouraging sign from last week, though, may have been on the other side of the ball. The Falcons’ defense also had its ups and downs this year. But facing the team that scored the most points in the NFL this year, Atlanta held Los Angeles to 13 points.

This also wasn’t an anomaly. Over the season’s last five weeks, the Falcons gave up 17 points per game. Four of those five games were against playoff teams: Two against the Saints, and one apiece against the Vikings and Panthers.

And with today’s matchup against the Wentz-less Eagles, this unit could pick up even more steam heading to the NFC Championship.