Dirty Birds versus the Ferocious Felines. The Lions have been the NFL’s surprise team this year. But I had a feeling they would be good. A couple of early draft picks several years in a row usually builds a fantastic team a few years later. That’s how good teams rebuild (especially after 0-16 seasons). That’s what the Lions did. I have been cheering for them this season, and took a minor blow when they lost last week.
But that loss last week may be beneficial to my home team and the important team here, the Falcons. The 49ers showed last week how to beat the Lions. Well in actuality, the Lions have almost been beat several times this season, but Stafford keeps bringing them to victory.
One key thing about the Lions is that they aren’t good at two important things. They do not run very well and they do not stop the run very well. In today’s NFL, some may think that this isn’t a big deal because the league is focused more toward passing now. However, when a team comes in that is built around the run, then problems arise. This is one key advantage that the Falcons have over the Lions. Michael Turner, Jason Snelling, and Jacquizz Rodgers should be utilized immensely, which will allow Matt Ryan to get some good looks downfield.
Defensively for the Falcons, the lack of a Lions run game should allow the Falcons to stay in coverage and focus on keep Stafford and Megatron (Calvin Johnson) from putting up big numbers. However, as we have seen all year, the Falcons’ zone defense needs some work. I personally think they should play more Man Defense or at least a modified Cover 2-Man defense but we’ll see how well their modified-Tampa 2 defense works on Sunday.
Keys to Victory:
- Time for the Quizz: Jacquizz Rodgers has seen limited action, but he is second on the team in rushing. With Michael Turner getting a heavy workload this week just like last week, expect Rodgers to see more action. Snelling should get some action too of course.
- Julio’s health: The proper thing to do would be to rest Julio this week, because the Falcons’ won last week without him and he has been limited in practice this week. However, I think he should play, although limited. The Falcons’ should focus on the run this week, so Julio should be given some outside throws where he can catch and get out of bounds and rest that hamstring.
- Brent Grimes, the Hopster: Brent Grimes may have the hops to jump over most receivers in the NFL, but he’s never faced a player like Calvin Johnson aka MegaTron. Johnson has a long body, crazy vertical, and fantastic hands. However, the Falcons should be in zone defense majority of the time, so don’t expect a true battle between Johnson and Grimes. I think Grimes should have a nice day Sunday.
- Slow down the pass rush: The Lions are notorious for their pass rush skills, and the Falcons may be without Sam Baker. Expect for chip blocks from the Falcons’ Tight Ends and Running Backs and then Matt Ryan checking down to them to get rid of the ball quickly. But hopefully we’ll run the ball nicely.
About the Author
Written by Josh Brown
I'm a 20 year old college student from Atlanta, GA who loves sports. Blogger for the Atlanta Falcons.