It is week 16 and for the Atlanta Falcons the stage is pretty much set for their playoff run, but first they look to play naughty rather than nice, to steal one more win from the Detroit Lions tonight.
Having one of the best records in the NFL (12-2), the Falcons can seal in home field advantage with a win. After Atlanta left the Giants last week with a zero in the points column, much of the media quickly changed thier tune and started noting the Falcons as a legitimate playoff contender. But, just like their loss to Carolina, a loss to a struggling Detroit team could quickly knock them off of their pedestal. The Lions currently hold a 4-10 season record.
With the way the Lions have been playing, the Falcons need to still think quick and smart, but not take too many risks in their plays, considering the playoffs are just around the corner. If the Falcons once again allow quarterback Matt Ryan to make the plays and get the ball to his receivers, then its inevitable that the Lions will eventually hand out big plays to a tough Atlanta offense. Speaking of offense, Detroit is not known for their pass rush defense, which should allow Atlanta to easily move downfield.
Although Roddy White is still playing with a nagging injury this week, look for Detroit to see more of Julio Jones in tonight’s match-up. Even though White is considered Ryan’s go to guy, Jones has proven himself to be there when needed and can easily make the big gains just like his counterpart.
This week, the Falcons defense needs to focus on Detroit’s Calvin Johnson and keeping the ball from reaching him. Also, if the Falcons can get to Lions quarterback Matt Stafford, they can easily shake-up the game from that angle as well. Noting their play against last year’s Super Bowl Champion quarterback Eli Manning, getting the pressure on Stafford should not be an issue.
In tonight’s game, it is predicted that the Falcons will try and put the game away early and solidify a win.
The game is set for an 8:30 kick-off on ESPN.
About the Author
Written by Ashley Gulick
Sports Journalism is my passion! I keep up with the latest news on pro/college football, NASCAR and baseball....and just about everthing else. I grew up in Talladega, Ala., but moved to Georgia when I was 15. From a young age, I always knew that I wanted to be involved with sports somehow. Once I got into college and completed my degree in Communications, I knew that I had a passion for sports journalism. I have covered sports for the Kennesaw Sentinel (KSU's student paper), Marietta Daily Journal and Douglas County Sentinel.