This post is the second part to Turner_The _Burner's post Best Case Scenario vs. The Lions. Which I had to cover but is here anyway.
It's that time of the week again when Turner_The_Burner and I, dunlagh, will give you a breakdown of the 3 best case and 3 worst case situations for the game. These will focus on different parts of the Falcons game where they could soar or suffer against our opponents. Obviously we’re Falcons fans, and have a bit more knowledge of the Dirty Birds than some other teams, so if you’re a visitor or just an NFL purist and we make a shocking mistake, please call us out on it! Other than that I hope you enjoy our work.
After 3 weeks of inconsistency on our behalf we hope to be back to our old reliable ways of producing you, the Falcoholic readers, the ever enjoyable Best Case/Wost Case Scenario posts. And the Falcons are looking to be back to their good old reliable selves as they put together their first semi-convincing win this season, with a 14 point win over Carolina. Watching the game it was clear that there was some issues, especially in the 3rd quarter, but a 14 point margin is still a 14 point margin and it was nice to win a game by more then 7 points (also note that that was Carolina's largest losing margin). However now we face a scary Lions team which is looking for its first strong winning season since 2000. So entering week seven, we officially give you the fifth Best Case/Worst Case Scenario analysis for 2011
I get to play the role of doomsayer, as I speak about 3 areas where Detroit can hurt us bad. Detroit exploded onto the scene this year, after some hype last year they look to be an early pick for a playoff team and they have a chance to steal the division title from the Packers. With weapons like Jahvid Best and Calvin Johnson, being led by Matthew Stafford their offense is a force to be reckoned with. So the 3 worst case scenarios for the Falcons are - Best is Better, Ryan has no time and Roddy can't get going.
Best is Better: Second year RB Jahvid Best is an extremely explosive player on the Lions offense. He has already gained 677 all purpose yards with two 40+ rushes and an average of 4.6 yards per carry. Best is the Lions only real weapon on the ground now that Harrison is out with a brain tumor, the next up is Keiland Williams (who averages 2.6 ypc) and Maurice Morris (2.2 ypc) who have less then 30 run attempts between them. Best, while an adequate rusher is also an excellent backfield pass catcher which makes him a threat on every snap he plays. He rarely can be limited in both parts of the game notable in the game against the 49ers who held Best to 12 carries for 27 yards (13 of which came in 1 play) however they let him grab 6 passes for 73 yards (including a 32 yard play). If Curtis Lofton or Sean Weatherspoon doesn't shadow Best all game and account for him on every play then we are inviting trouble in and that's never good. Best isn't at 100% heading into this game so fingers crossed he takes the day off.
Ryan has no time: The Falcons offensive line has been a major issue this year allowing 15 sacks this season tied for 10th most in the NFL. The Lions defence has 14 sacks for a tied 13th most in the NFL. Now these aren't drastic rankings on either end however there is no question our O-line is weak and the Lions have some great pass rushers. First off the injury report doesn't help what might already be an uphill battle: McClure, Baker and Reynolds are all not practicing for various reasons and won't help the issue. On the Lions defence they have Ndamukong Suh, Kyle van den Bosch, Nick Fairly, Cliff Avril and Willie Young just in their D-line, an impressive lineup to say the least. Fairly, the 13th overall pick in the draft hasn't been playing much but if he plays he has the ability to do some damage. Avril (4th year) has 2 sacks at LE and Young (2nd year) has 2 sacks as backup RE. However the main pass rush comes from last years rookie of the year Suh and seasoned veteran Van den Bosch. Suh only has 2 sacks but his dominance is well documented, while Bosch as 4 already and is looking fresh despite being a 10 year vet. With a primarily healthy Lions D-line going against our banged up O-line, Ryan will have a tough time staying composed in the pocket.
Roddy can't get going: Our beloved Pro-Bowl WR has been having a tough time this year, he has been hobbled by: injuries, a QB that is playing at a lower level then last year and constant pressure from the opposition. Regardless he has been disappointing after being the statistically best WR last year. Roddy has 34 receptions for 373 yards and only 2 TD's, compared to last year he had 43 receptions for 546 yards and 3 TD's. A significant drop in production but regardless Roddy is on pace to make about 91 receptions for about 995 yards (his first year of less then 1,000 yards since 2006. However I do believe Roddy can break out of his funk and have a good week, but it won't come easy. Chris Houston, his competition, was a former Falcon who was a less then stellar player until he moved to Detroit. He has 3 picks already this year and is a solid #1 CB, these players know each other and it will be a good match up for two players who have both improved since playing on the same team 2 seasons ago. Roddy needs some help too, HD has had less then impressive start to the season which has put a damper on his impressive preseason, he has 13 receptions for 137 yards (still on pace for his best season yet) when he has had the ball he has looked good and he needs to step up while JJ is injured. Speaking of Julio Jones, the rookie has been solid before going down with the terrible Falcon first round injury curse, it doesn't look like this will effect his season too much but its never good that he is out especially as he was more productive then White before the injury. Finally Tony G has been a TD machine and is looking to have an excellent season again, he has been the brightest spot of our gloomy passing game and it will be nice for him to keep it up. They will be facing the 6th best Pass D who have also nabbed a solid 8 interceptions this season (5th in the NFL) with 2 taken back for 6 (both against the Cowboys).
Unfortunately that is all we have for you this time but leave a comment or a question and we can cover any other points of interest. Please check back every week for the Best Case/Worst Case Analysis of the upcoming game. Until next time, I wish you good luck and all the best to the Falcons - this should be one hell of a game.