There’s nothing quite like having some confidence in your favorite football team, except of course for that confidence proving to be warranted.
Through two weeks, our staff has largely predicted wins against the Panthers and Packers, and you won’t be surprised we’re doing so again against Detroit. While our confidence level was high for Carolina and fairly robust for Green Bay, though, the difficulty of the matchup the Lions present even with injuries has us thinking about a close one.
Here’s Matt and I delivering our predictions. Do share yours in the comments, if you would.
Falcons 30 - Lions 28
There’s no question in my mind that this will be Atlanta’s highest-scoring game of the season, both in terms of their opponent and their own offense. That’s because keeping pace with the Lions figures to be tricky and 24 or 25 points is unlikely to cut the mustard, and because the Falcons are clearly finding their footing a little more each week. Remember, most of their points in Week 1 came off of turnovers; in Week 2, the offense effectively doubled their yardage and scored their points off longer drives.
I figure this one will be close yet again, and it’s closer to a coin flip who wins it than the last two games, where I was confident Atlanta would win. Detroit is simply a good football team that is a couple of mistakes away from being 2-0, and even with injuries mounting, they’ll push Atlanta to the limit. What gives me optimism is the slow evolution of this passing game, the sheer excellence of the run game, and the quality foundation the defense is laying, plus Atlanta’s special teams consistently delivering strong results. I figured that’ll be enough for yet another late win. —Dave Choate
Falcons 27 - Lions 24
What a tough match-up to predict. Both teams seem surprisingly similar, with new coaches continuing to improve some formerly struggling teams. Jared Goff is averaging nearly 300 passing yards per game and is very efficient at over 70% completion percentage and 4-1 TD:Int. The Lions defense is stout as well, thanks in part to Aidan Hutchinson being a wrecking ball on the edge.
Just like the Falcons, the Lions have been exceeding expectations. Also like the Falcons, it is hard to place where they are and where they are headed. Have we seen the best from either team? Or are both still trending upwards? I don’t have a good answer for that question.
What’s concerning for the Falcons is this is its first road game of the season. The Lions can also take a big lead, but that is a bit less concerning after the Falcons battled back from a 12-point deficit last week. What’s concerning for the Lions is some mounting injuries, with many starters potentially missing Sunday’s game. I really don’t have a good read on which way this game should end up... but the Falcons have Bijan Robinson and I refuse to believe he can lose a football game. — Matt Chambers