The Detroit Lions have come away with two wins to begin their season, can they keep it up against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday?
On Monday night, the Detroit Lions showed that they can beat a team on the road without having to trail in the fourth quarter. They went into MetLife Stadium and kept a lead against the New York Giants through all four quarters, never allowing quarterback Eli Manning to mount much of an offense.
The Lions are now 2-0 and have had impressive wins to start the year, even though they are against teams that aren’t looking very good. The Falcons are a team on a trajectory to make it back to the playoffs, after a heartbreaking loss in the Super Bowl this past February.
The Falcons beat the Packers during primetime on Sunday, implementing a high-powered offense and a stout defense. The Detroit Lions will need to play excellent in all three phases of the game to be able to best the Falcons and prove to the national audience that they are for real this year.
Atlanta’s leading pass rusher, linebacker Vic Beasley, is out with a hamstring injury that will sideline him for about a month. This will give the Lions a chance, possibly softening the middle of the field as well for quarterback Matthew Stafford to find wide receiver Golden Tate.
On the defensive side, the Lions will need their breakout rookie middle linebacker Jarrad Davis for this game. During a great performance against the Giants on Monday, Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. blocked Davis in the back launching his head into Giants running back Paul Perkins resulting in a possible concussion for Davis. The play was not flagged, but Davis left the game and ended up in the locker room soon after to go through the concussion protocol.
The Lions will have a unique challenge in stopping a dual-threat running back group in Falcons running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Both running backs are often on the field at the same time, either back being dangerous in both the running and passing game. Let alone wide receiver Julio Jones who is one of the best receivers in the league. The centerpiece of the offense
though is last year’s MVP quarterback Matt Ryan, who is good friends with Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and shared a quarterback coach during the offseason.
Stafford will need to inspire his team to greatness this week, and if he is successful we could be witnessing one of the best Lions teams since the early 90’s.