football | NFL

Detroit Lions vs. Atlanta Falcons Pick & Prediction OCT 25TH 2020

FinishedTV: FOXMercedes-Benz Stadium Atlanta

457Detroit Lions
458Atlanta Falcons

OP
57
-4
CU
56.5o -105
-1 -104
ML
-103
-117
Partials
1 2 3 4
7 3 3 10
0 14 0 8
Score
23
22
Recap

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It's no secret that Julio Jones makes the Atlanta Falcons a much more dangerous team.

 

Following a strong opening-day performance against Seattle, Jones missed two games and struggled through two others with a hamstring injury. That was a big reason why the Falcons started 0-5 and fired head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff.

 

Back in action Sunday against Minnesota, Jones racked up 137 receiving yards and scored twice as Atlanta ended its losing streak.

 

Jones and the Falcons, searching for their first home win of the season, will try to build off that outing when the Detroit Lions visit Sunday.

 

The Lions bring in some momentum of their own, winners of two of their past three, tamping down the hot-seat rumors of their head coach, Matt Patricia.

 

Jones sat out Wednesday's practice but it's likely a precautionary measure.

 

"When he's out there, we are going to be a better team, I can tell you that much," interim coach Raheem Morris said. "When he's not, we will not be as good, but we still have a chance to win."

 

With his top weapon on the field, quarterback Matt Ryan enjoyed his best outing this season last week. Ryan passed for 371 yards and four touchdowns without an interception in the 17-point win over the Vikings.

 

The Falcons have a formidable one-two punch with Jones and Calvin Ridley, but third receiver Russell Gage and tight end Hayden Hurst can also produce impact plays.

 

"It's hard to get them all touches," Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said. "Obviously, everything is going to start off running through Julio and Calvin. We've been trying to get Hayden more involved. All Russ Gage does (against the Vikings) is have four catches and three explosives. There is only one ball to go around."

 

The Lions (2-3), who defeated Jacksonville 34-16 after a bye week, believe the best way to hold the Falcons in check is to pressure Ryan.

 

"I don't know if I have a coverage that can handle all of these guys," Detroit defensive coordinator Cory Undlin said. "But, I would say that it comes down to trying to be effective and make the quarterback work pre-snap and post-snap. Do our best. Mix it up on him and try to make it hard for him. We all know that it's going to be a tough cover for everybody on the field. We welcome that challenge."

 

Detroit has a top-notch receiver in Kenny Golladay but the Lions have become increasingly reliant on their three-pronged rushing attack.

 

Lions offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell has used Adrian Peterson, rookie De'Andre Swift and Kerryon Johnson to varying degrees. Peterson has received the bulk of the carries but Swift had a breakthrough performance against the Jaguars, rushing for 116 yards on 14 carries and two touchdowns.

 

"We go in with a plan and then as the game goes along, you have to have a feel for the game," Bevell said. "So Adrian goes in with the first bit of carries, but everybody has kind of a specific role or even specific plays."

 

Quarterback Matthew Stafford is averaging just 248 yards per game on the season. He has thrown only four touchdown passes in four career outings against Atlanta. Detroit is 1-3 in those games. The teams last met in 2017.

 

The Lions will go without rookie defensive end Julian Okwara for at least the next three games. He was placed on injured reserve Tuesday due to a leg injury.

 

Falcons defensive end Takkarist McKinley sat out Wednesday's practice with a groin injury.

 

Detroit's biggest injury concern among active players is former Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant (hamstring).

 

--Field Level Media

 

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GAMES

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2 8
  • Minnesota L 37 - 35
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  • @Tennessee L 25 - 46
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  • @Chicago W 34 - 30
  • Houston L 41 - 25
  • @Carolina L 0 - 20
  • Washington W 27 - 30
  • @Minnesota L 20 - 34
  • Indianapolis L 41 - 21
W 30% L 70%
3 7
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  • Denver W 27 - 34
  • @Carolina W 25 - 17
  • Detroit L 23 - 22

Next Games

  • Buffalo(08-23-19) L 24 - 20
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  • San Francisco(12-27-15) W 17 - 32
  • Tennessee(09-29-19) L 24 - 10
  • @Miami(08-08-19) L 27 - 34
  • Cleveland(11-23-14) L 26 - 24
  • Philadelphia(09-15-19) W 20 - 24

Last Meetings

  • Lions @ Falcons 23-22
  • Falcons @ Lions 30-26
  • Lions @ Falcons 22-21
  • Falcons @ Lions 31-18
  • Falcons @ Lions 23-16
  • Falcons @ Lions 26-27
  • Lions @ Falcons 21-34
  • Falcons @ Lions 14-30

Last Injuries

Detroit Lions

  • Jashon Cornell

    Suspension
    Elig Week 4 | out

    Cornell has been handed a three-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy, and he is eligible to return against the Bears during Week 4.

Detroit Lions vs. Atlanta Falcons

Matthew Stafford completed an 11-yard scoring pass to T.J. Hockenson as the clock ran out and Matt Prater's extra-point conversion gave the visiting Detroit Lions a 23-22 triumph over the host Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

The Lions' eight-play, 75-yard drive came after Atlanta took the late lead on a 76-yard drive.

A 29-yard pass to Kenny Golladay set up the tying score. Prater's extra point was taken from 48 yards out after an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

Stafford threw for 340 yards and Golladay had six catches for 114 yards for the Lions (3-3). Prater kicked three long field goals.

Todd Gurley rushed for 63 yards and two touchdowns for the Falcons (1-6). Matt Ryan passed for 338 yards and a score, while Julio Jones caught eight passes for 97 yards.

During Atlanta's go-ahead score, Ryan completed three passes to Russell Gage while Gurley picked up a key first down, putting Atlanta in range for a game-winning field goal. The Lions, out of timeouts, essentially allowed Gurley to score on the next play from 10 yards out to preserve clock time with 1:04 left. Ryan then found Calvin Ridley for a 2-point conversion to give the Falcons a 22-16 lead.

Atlanta led 14-10 at halftime on a Gurley rushing touchdown and a Ryan-to-Ridley hookup.

Stafford got the Lions into field-goal range with the clock winding down and Prater booted a 50-yard field goal on the last play of the half to pull Detroit within four points.

Prater drilled a 51-yard field goal midway through the third quarter to make it 14-13.

The Falcons drove inside the Lions 20 early in the fourth quarter. They passed on a field goal try on 4th-and-5 but Ryan threw an incompletion.

Prater missed a 46-yard try with 7:32 remaining, leaving the Lions with a one-point deficit.

He soon got another chance. Romeo Okwara sacked Ryan, who fumbled. Trey Flowers recovered at the Falcons 36-yard line. The Lions failed to pick up a first down, but Prater made a 49-yarder with 3:16 remaining to give his team the lead.

--Field Level Media