This is an interesting matchup for so many reasons, as we’ve chronicled throughout the week, that we won’t head into today’s game feeling like anything is a given. The Lions are 2-0 and have been at least solid in nearly every facet of their offense and defense thus far, but they have handled two relatively mediocre opponents to this point. The Falcons will be their toughest test by a country mile, but then, Detroit is probably also Atlanta’s toughest challenge yet.
The reasons for this are simple enough: Detroit can attack defenses underneath with a lot of smart, short passes, and then air it out on occasion thanks to Matthew Stafford’s big arm. Their ground game isn’t anything to write home about but keeps the scales balanced, at minimum. The defense, meanwhile, is missing a talented young linebacker but still has a solid group up front and a strong set of cornerbacks tracking the Falcons’ receivers. They’re also at home, and the Falcons looked very shaky in their Week 1 effort on the road.
All of that is to say that none of us should expect a cakewalk...but maybe a cakejog. Atlanta’s still the better team more or less across the board from a talent perspective, and I say that with no intention of slamming the Lions. I fully expect the Falcons to win this one, but I think they’ll find the sledding tougher than they’d like, particularly down Vic Beasley, Courtney Upshaw, and Ryan Schraeder. Another tough road win here, though, and you’ve got two AFC East opponents sandwiched around a bye week, and thus a real shot at a 5-0 start. That would be a thing of beauty, given the offseason we’re endured.
This will be your open thread. Use it as such!
Falcons vs. Lions Week 3 key info
Time: Sunday, September 24, 1:00 p.m. EST
Location: Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
TV Channel: FOX
Announcers: Booth: Chris Myers, Daryl “Moose” Johnston
Radio: 92.9 The Game
Prediction: Falcons win, 27-21
Key Questions: Will the Lions be able to dink and dunk their way down the field against Atlanta’s #fast and physical defense?
SB Nation Opposition Site: Pride of Detroit