Falcons RiseUpdate: Week 3 at Detroit

Welcome to the Falcons RiseUpdate, a weekly column on all Atlanta Falcons news, injury reports, storylines, and a game preview/prediction for the upcoming game. Today, the Falcons will look to improve to 3-0 on the young season as they square off versus Matthew Stafford’s Detroit Lions. 

Last Week:

The Falcons showed out on Sunday Night Football with a 34-23 win over the Packers. Although it was an 11 point win, the Falcons looked a lot better than that, and the score was lopsided until a few garbage time scores by the Packers. Julio Jones (5 rec. 108 yards) and Mohammed Sanu (5 rec. 85 yards) led the team in receiving and were uncoverable for most of the night.

The defense looked strong and fast, sacking Aaron Rodgers three times and scoring a defensive touchdown (Trufant fumble recovery). Desmond Trufant played great, as he had an interception and a fumble recovery for a touchdown.

On the injury side, Ryan Schraeder suffered a concussion on the first drive that will sideline him this week. Vic Beasley Jr. also has a slight tear in his hamstring that will cause him to be week-to-week.

Falcons vs Lions

Injury Report:

Detroit:

Travis Swanson (starting center)- OUT (ankle)

Jarrad Davis (LB)- OUT (concussion)

Tavon Wilson (safety)- OUT (shoulder)

Ziggy Ansah (DE)- PLAYING (knee)

Davis, Wilson, and Swanson are all huge parts of Detroit’s team, but Ansah (3 sacks last week) is their best pass rusher. He will be playing today, but expect him to be limited.

Atlanta:

Ryan Schraeder (concussion)- OUT

Vic Beasley Jr. (hamstring)- OUT

Courtney Upshaw (knee/ankle)- OUT

Atlanta is banged up, but this will be a good opportunity to see what Takk McKinley can do replacing Beasley. The O-Line will certainly take a hit with Wes Schweitzer and Ty Sambrailo starting on the right side.

Keys to the Game

Win the Turnover Battle

The Falcons were +2 against the Packers in the turnover battle last week, which was one of the main reasons they won. The Lions defense isn’t the best (especially with all the injuries), and the Falcons will be able to score at will unless they turn the ball over. The Falcons have not turned the ball over yet this season, and hopefully that will remain true after today. With the Falcons speed on defense, they should be able to intercept Matthew Stafford or force a fumble.

Penalties in the Secondary

With a heavy-pass offense, holding and pass interference penalties will kill you. Robert Alford and Brian Poole are notorious for holding on plays not even near them, and with a good quarterback who loves to air it deep, tha Falcons can’t afford to give up 30-yard pass interference penalties and automatic first downs. The Falcons have commited three defensive holding penalties this season, which is 2 above the league average.

Feed the Running Backs

This is a big key every week, but with a banged-up front seven, Detroit will not be able to consistently stop Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. With Jarrad Davis (LB) out for Detroit, look for the Falcons to send Coleman and Freeman on routes against guys like Paul Worrilow (familar face) who lack the speed to cover them. If the Falcons are able to incorperate the running backs in effectively, the Lions will simply have to worry about too many weapons in this Falcons offense.

Prediction:

Falcons win, 41-27.

I think the Falcons will come out on firing on all cylinders and take control of this game early. A Detroit comeback in the third quarter will make it close, but the Falcons offense will prove to be simply too much for the Lions.

 

 

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