With the 2020 NFL schedule release, one game in particular stands out for the Detroit Lions. A Week-Seven matchup could be an opportunity for revenge.
Last time the Detroit Lions faced the Atlanta Falcons, Week Three of the 2017 regular season, controversy flooded the field with a disappointing ending. With eight seconds left, quarterback Matthew Stafford threw what appeared to be a game-winning touchdown to former slot receiver Golden Tate.
The touchdown call went under scoring review and was overturned. Due to the Lions being out of timeouts, a 10-second run-off ended the game. If the outcome was different, Detroit’s record would have been 10-6 with a playoff berth. Instead, the Lions ended that season 9-7, out of the postseason, and head coach Jim Caldwell was fired.
Unfortunately, there’s no way of knowing what might have happened. But the Motor City will finally have a chance for revenge this upcoming season. Although, other factors should make their upcoming Week-Seven matchup exciting.
For the first time in both of their careers, wide receiver Julio Jones and cornerback Desmond Trufant will face off against each other as opponents. Being teammates in Atlanta for seven years, they’ve battled multiple times at practice. But now they’ll see one another as true opponents. That’s assuming first-rounder Jeffrey Okudah’s role is on the right side of the field.
Atlanta spent a first-round pick on Clemson cornerback A.J. Terrell, who’s projected to be Trufant’s replacement in Atlanta. Terrell gets the opportunity to see the man he replaced upfront, possibly a measure of pride for both players.
Stafford, among running back D’Andre Swift and tight end Issac Nauta are all returning to the city where they spent their college days at. Rookie wideout Quintez Cephus also has ties to Atlanta. So it’s somewhat of a homecoming for the Lions’ offense.
The Detroit Lions’ all-time record against the Atlanta Falcons stands at 24-13. However, both squads are looking to improve upon disappointing 2019 campaigns with the Falcons posting a 7-9 record last year.