Lions at Falcons: 3 players who need to step up in Atlanta

Trey Flowers, Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Trey Flowers, Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

Here are three Detroit Lions who need to step up against the 1-5 Atlanta Falcons

The Detroit Lions are coming off their second win of the season last weekend in Jacksonville. The Atlanta Falcons are coming off their first win of the season in Minnesota. Now, both are set to play each other this Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The Falcons dominated their matchup against the lowly Vikings last week, leading by as much as 26 points midway through the fourth quarter. If the Lions wish to avoid the same fate, here are three players who’ll need to step up in Atlanta.

D’Andre Swift, RB

Rookie running back D’Andre Swift put on a show against the Jaguars in Week Six, rushing for 116 yards and two touchdowns on a mere 14 carries. He’ll need to put on a similar performance against the Falcons that limited the Vikings to just 32 total rushing yards without star running back Dalvin Cook, who was out due to a groin injury.

The week prior, the Falcons allowed backup running back Mike Davis to gobble up 89 rushing yards on 16 carries for the Carolina Panthers. So there’s no reason the trio of Swift, Adrian Peterson, and Kerryon Johnson can’t find success on the ground in Atlanta despite their shutdown performance against the Vikes.

Trey Flowers, DE

Against the Jaguars, pass rusher Trey Flowers racked up only his second sack of the season, dropping quarterback Gardner Minshew II. Falcons’ passer Matt Ryan has been sacked a total of 13 times so far this year, including twice against the Vikings last week with Minnesota defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo registering 1.5 sacks.

Ryan has been sacked a whopping eight times in his last three games. That bodes well for Flowers, Romeo Okwara, linebacker Jamie Collins, and the rest of the Lions’ pass rushers against the Falcons this Sunday.

Kenny Golladay, WR

Lions’ wideout Kenny Golladay made headlines this week after his Instagram post appeared to imply that Detroit would need to pay top dollar if he’s going remain in the Motor City. If true, those are fairly strong words from a player who missed the first two games of the season with a hamstring injury.

Golladay is in the final year of his rookie contract in Detroit. And while the Lions were expected to sign him to an extension, there’s clearly been an obstacle to getting a deal done. And Golladay’s recent post appears to indicate that obstacle has been money.

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Since returning from his hamstring injury, Kenny Golladay has posted solid performances recording 14 receptions for 224 yards and two touchdowns in three games. The fourth-year receiver is set up to have a monster performance against the Falcons and their passing defense that ranks dead last in total yards allowed (2,012). All eyes will be on No. 19 to have a big outing this Sunday following his recent social media outburst.