Detroit Lions at Atlanta Falcons: Week 7 game preview

Detroit Lions (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Detroit Lions (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Lions will look to start a win streak against Atlanta at home

As the Detroit Lions demolished their last opponent in the Jacksonville Jaguars by a score of 34-16, they will look to continue that momentum against the Atlanta Falcons who are 1-5 and are just coming off their first win of the season.

This article will look at the matchup history between the Falcons and Lions, what occurred in their last matchup, what to watch for, the keys to the game for the Lions to win and to end off, a prediction.

Matchup history

These teams have faced off a total of 37 times with the Lions holding the advantage with a 24-13 record. The first time the Lions and Falcons played each other was back in 1966 with Detroit winning nine straight games until 1977.

Last matchup

Week 3 of the 2017 season was the last time the Lions played the Falcons with Atlanta taking the game 30-26. In the win, quarterback Matt Ryan threw more interceptions (three) than touchdowns (two) but did throw for 294 yards.

Running back Devonta Freeman rushed for 106 yards over 21 attempts with a touchdown while Tevin Coleman only needed six tries to get 46 yards. Wide receiver Julio Jones led Falcons receivers with 91 yards on seven catches while Taylor Gabriel caught five passes for 79 yards and a touchdown. Both running backs got three catches each with Freeman getting 11 more yards (43) than Coleman (32).

On defense, cornerback Brian Poole got nine tackles. Kicker Matt Bryant got his team 12 points including hitting three field goals with one of them being 48 yards.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford was 25 for 45 with 264 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 19 yards.

Running back Ameer Abdullah got 47 yards on 14 carries. Wide receiver Golden Tate caught seven passes for 58 yards and a touchdown.

On defense, safety Glover Quin caught an interception with cornerback Darius slay getting two. Kicker Matt Prater got four field goals including one that was 57 yards.

What to watch for

Running back D’Andre Swift rushed for 116 yards in last weeks matchup against the Jaguars. Can he continue that momentum against a Falcons run defense that is practically worse than the Jaguars?

Also, after Swift’s big game, how will running backs Adrian Peterson and Kerryon Johnson be utilized?

How do the Falcons utilize their two star wideouts in Jones and Calvin Ridley? Jones hasn’t been himself this season but had a huge game against the Minnesota Vikings when he got 117 yards and two touchdowns.

Normally, Jones isn’t targeted in the endzone often in which those targets go to Ridley but it’s fair to question if that has changed after last week’s game. If that’s the case, how will the Lions decide who’s covering who?

Keys to the game/What the Lions need to do to win

To get win number three, the Lions will need to shutdown the Falcons offense. Ryan is a good quarterback who has two potent weapons at his hands who can be game changers. The Lions will also need to stop the run to the best of their abilities as Falcons running back Todd Gurley has been having a bounce-back campaign.


This game will be a showdown between Stafford and Ryan who have been compared to each other many times throughout their careers. Ryan took the last matchup back in 2017 and will take this matchup again.

While they are 1-5, the Falcons offense can be dangerous but it’s the defense that’s been bringing them down. While the Lions won’t have much of an issue when they have the ball, it’s how they’ve been utilizing their offensive weapons that will make it easier for the Falcons to defend.

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It will be the Falcons offense will be too much for to handle which will ultimately result in a loss for the Lions. Final score prediction: Falcons 29, Lions 27