Detroit Lions Week 8 Opponent Preview: Atlanta Falcons


Last week the Detroit Lions found themselves down 13 with four minutes to go. Thanks to some late game heroics, the Lions found a way to win.

With that they enter the last game of the 1st half with a record of 5-1 sitting atop of the NFC North.

Since 2007, for whatever reason, Rodger Goodell has set up the NFL International series in hopes of expanding the popularity of the NFL in London with the hopes of possibly adding an expansion team or relocating a team to London.

Like I said, for whatever reason.

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Nonetheless, it is still is a fun experience for the players to go overseas and partake in all the actives. Almost as a mini vacation, then be rewarded with the bye week that follows.

The Detroit Lions defense didn’t have their best game last week. They gave up over 400 yards. But they stepped up when they needed too late in the game and despite giving up 400 yards they still remain as the best defense in the NFL.

They face another top ten offense this week, but it’s actually one that has been struggling as of late.

Ever since the Falcons’ beat-down a dreadful Tampa Bay team, the Falcons offense has been on the decline. They’re struggling to score points, they’re turning the ball over, they even gave up five sacks last week and quarterback Matt Ryan was under pressure all game long.

They will face their toughest test this week against the best defense in the league.

You just know Ndamukong Suh and company can’t wait to face this depleted offensive line.

This Falcons do have some weapons.

Julio Jones and Roddy White are arguably one of the best receiver duos in the NFL, both can go off at any point.

Julio Jones is 4th in the league in receiving yards this season. They also have a very solid quarterback throwing them the ball in Matt Ryan who has thrown for at-lease 4,000 yards each of the last three seasons and is well on pace to do that again.

The Detroit Lions secondary will have their hands full trying to contain these three but of course are up to the challenge.

The key for the Lions defense will be to apply pressure to Matt Ryan and get after him early, and often.

Offensively the Lions are expected to not have Calvin Johnson again this week. The all pro receiver sat out of practice again on Wednesday. So for the third, basically fifth week in a row, expect the Lions to be without Megatron.

This actually makes sense, Golden Tate has been fantastic thus far, and is proving to be the best free agent pick up from the off-season. No sense in rushing Calvin back into the lineup against a 2-5 team.

Especially with a bye next week.

Speaking of Golden Tate, he could very well be in for another big day. The Falcons have been very mediocre stopping the pass, or trying in that matter. They rank 28th in that category.

The Lion’s can’t run the ball, the Falcons can’t stop the run. Reggie Bush is expected to get more carries than he saw last week. Which couldn’t come in a better time as the Lions rush offense now sits at 31st, slightly ahead of the no win Raiders.

Stafford played a pretty good game last week, he had a completion percentage close to 70% Please remove that garbage interception late in the game, and you’re looking at a quarterback rating of 126.4 in the 4th quarter.

However, he is yet to have back to back good games, a lot of that is due to the absence of Calvin Johnson. But you expect better from your franchise quarterback. This is his chance against an awful Atlanta Falcon defense.


Every game in the NFL is a big game, but this one stands out a bit.

Both teams need this one. With a win the Falcons remain in the race for the NFC South which is starting to look like eight wins takes that division.

The Lions look to end the 1st half of 2014 at 6-2, in first place, and enter their bye week feeling great.

I think this one is going to be closer than most people expect, but at the end of the day the Lions defense stands tall, and Stafford and Tate have another big day.

Lions 24, Falcons 17