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Lions vs Falcons Pre-game

After taking their first loss a week ago, the Detroit Lions will host the Atlanta Falcons and try to get back into the winning mode.

The 49ers hit the Lions where they are weakest on both sides of the ball. Gore tore them up on the ground and their defense put major pressure on Stafford. There is no reason the Atlanta Falcons should be able to do the same.

Atlanta is the 20th ranked passing team in the NFL and the 16th ranked rushing team. Neither one is a real threat to the Detroit Lions defense. Michael Turner is the kind of running back the Lions defense can feast upon. He is large, so he will not disappear behind blockers and he is a power back and not a speedster, so he will not break away for long gains too often. Or at least he shouldn't. I am trying to ignore the fact that Turner has two carries for over 50 yards this season.

On the other side of the game, Atlanta is 27th against the pass, which is where the Lions make their living. They only have 11 sacks on the season, so the Lions offensive line should be able to handle them. Quite frankly, the Falcons defense is custom built for the Lions offense to score on. If the Lions come out flat yet again in the first quarter, it will be a telling sign that something is dreadfully wrong.

With the concussion to Jahvid Best, there are some fans who believe the running game will improve. There is a strange belief that even though Morris and Williams will not be home run threats, they will give the Lions a consistent 3 to 4 yards each carry. Do not kid yourself.

If the Lions continue to use the shotgun formation so often, and continue to use the draw play as a large portion of their running plays, neither Morris nor Williams will do any better than Best. The Lions running problems have not been the fault of Jahvid Best, but purely a consequence of the scheme they continue to use. If the Lions want to see their running game come to life, they need to move away from the shotgun and start handing the ball to the running back already in motion. A good lead blocker would help considerably but that is one thing Schwartz and crew refuse to use.

It was inexcusable for the Lions to lose to the 49ers in week 6. There is even less of an excuse to lose to the Falcons. In fact, there is no excuse for the Lions to not score at least one touchdown in the first quarter this week. Expect the Lions to score often through the air as one of the NFL's best passing teams faces up to one of the NFL's worst passing defenses.

Detroit 34
Atlanta 20


  1. The key to this game will be the O-Line for both teams. Stafford has been hit a lot this season and with best's out he may to throw the ball 40 to 50 times protection has to hold up.

  2. Only twice in the six games has Stafford thrown the ball less than 39 times. Dont expect a big difference in the game with Best out. The Lions live and die by the pass and most of that is the shotgun which is destructive to the running game.

    The coaches see the Lions as a passing team and do not have a serious attitude towards having a real running game. If they did they would not use the shotgun so often and use a lead blocker now and then.

    The only difference will be in the fact that Morris is not going to break an 80 yard TD in one of the 15 carries he gets.