Game Overview ::
By mike johnson >>
- The teams involved in this game are the bottom two teams in the NFL in pass rate over expectation through two weeks.
- Detroit is battling injuries on both sides of the ball, which should make Atlanta’s offense more efficient and Detroit’s offense more pass-heavy and quicker-paced.
- David Montgomery’s status is of particular importance to the potential of this game, with the Lions having a better chance of winning if he plays but the game having a better chance of turning into a track meet if he sits.
- Both defenses have been solid so far this season, but Atlanta’s pass defense and Detroit’s run defense will have their toughest tests in Week 3.
- Explosive young players on both sides of the ball have the opportunity to light the match on this powder keg.
- We should not automatically assume “run-heavy” means slow and boring, especially with the players involved here.
How atlanta Will Try To Win ::
Atlanta enters this week with an unblemished record after securing home wins over the Panthers and Packers. This week, they will face a tough road test in Detroit against a team that is always competitive. Atlanta’s pass rate over expectation is dead last in the NFL, and that’s exactly how head coach Arthur Smith likes it. Detroit’s run defense has been solid so far this year, but it hasn’t really been tested. In Week 1, they faced the Chiefs, who were without Travis Kelce, which made them much easier to defend in all facets of offense, and in Week 2, they faced a Seahawks team with a banged-up offensive line. The Falcons boast PFF’s #4 ranked run-blocking unit, and they should match up somewhat favorably here. Tyler Allgeier has been solid since the latter half of last year, and Bijan Robinson is downright electric to watch. Leaning on those two makes a lot of sense when you watch them run…..and run, they will.
As we just discussed, Atlanta is going to run the ball. It’s not a secret. We won’t spend too much time on them because Detroit is the bigger X-factor here and the team that truly holds the keys to how this game plays out, but there are a couple of things to note. First, Desmond Ridder ran the ball ten times last week, an added dimension that could give Detroit’s defense fits as they typically play a lot of man coverage, making them susceptible to QB scrambles. Second, the Falcons don’t throw at a high rate, but it is relatively condensed when they do. Desmond Ridder completed 19 passes last week, with only five players catching a pass and all of them catching multiple passes. Finally, the biggest gripe outsiders have about the Falcons is their lack of use of their young weapons. The aforementioned high rate of man coverage typical for the Lions for the past year would give those weapons some opportunities to make big plays. Detroit will be without three edge rushers and two defensive backs for this matchup, which should afford Ridder some extra time on his occasional dropbacks and give those elite playmakers a chance to win matchups.