After a tough OT loss to the Seahawks which saw the Lions drop to 1-1 on the season and lose a slew of players to injury, Detroit will look to bounce back against a 2-0 Falcons team. The Week 3 contest also serves as a homecoming game for Falcons cornerback Jeff Okudah, who was traded to Atlanta this offseason after being a Lions’ first-round pick in 2020. Okudah missed the first two games of the season with a foot injury but is listed as questionable so he could make his Falcons’ debut Sunday.
Last time out: The Lions showed enough grit to take the Seahawks to overtime but ended up falling 37-31. Both quarterbacks had impressive outings. Geno Smith completed 78 percent of his passes for 328 yards and two TDs while Jared Goff had an 80 percent completion rate for 323 yards and three TDs. The Seahawks’ defense made the difference in the end. Uchenna Nwosu forced a David Montgomery fumble and a Goff pass intended for Jahmyr Gibbs was picked off by Tre Brown and returned for a touchdown.
A fourth-quarter surge was the story behind Atlanta’s 25-24 win over the Packers last Sunday. The 13-0 scoring run to end the game was kicked off by a Desmond Ridder rushing touchdown and capped off by two three-and-outs forced by the Atlanta defense which led to a pair of Younghoe Koo field goals—including the game winner. The Falcons’ win also saw rookie running back Bijan Robinson rush for over 100 yards in only his second game in the NFL.
Matchups: Week 3 could turn into a chess match in the ground game. Robinson headlines a Falcons run game that ranks fourth in the league, averaging 170 yards per game. Backup Tyler Allgeier and Ridder’s ability to run from the quarterback position also need to be accounted for by a Detroit run defense that ranks in the top ten after two games. On the other side, the Lions will have to adjust due to Montgomery’s injury to try and take advantage of an Atlanta rush defense that is giving up 119 yards a game. Either way we could see a lot of old school ground and pound football on Sunday.
In their last meeting: Atlanta beat Detroit 20-16 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in 2021. Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts had one of his best games, recording six receptions for 102 yards.
The overall series: Detroit holds a 25-14 advantage in the overall series record, but the Falcons have won five of the last seven.
Matchup odds: The Lions are favored by ESPN Analytics with a 55.1% chance to win.
Here are 5 Falcons storylines to follow heading into Sunday’s matchup:
1. Bair: Bijan Robinson making good on draft day hype
Through two games, the No. 8 overall pick from last year’s draft, Bijan Robinson has shown why he is a future star in the NFL … READ MORE
2. The subtlety of Jessie Bates III is just as noteworthy as the spectacular
Safety Jessie Bates III earned himself NFC Defensive Player of the Week in Week 1 but is having just as much of an impact off the field as he does on it for the Falcons … READ MORE
3. Nerdy Birds: Hot start for the defense, Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier breaking tackles
Atlanta has continued the success they had last season running the ball, but a revamped defense with seven new starters in Week 1 has seen an improvement against the pass game … READ MORE
4. Falcons cornerback Jeff Okudah reflects on Lions trade as he prepares for return to Detroit
After being sidelined the first couple weeks, former Lion Jeff Okudah could see his first action as a Falcon at Ford Field on Sunday … READ MORE
5. Fantastic in the fourth: Analyzing how the Falcons have performed in the final quarter
The key to Atlanta’s success through Week 2 has been their ability to outscore their opponents in the fourth quarter … READ MORE
Big left arrow icon Big right arrow icon Close icon Copy Url Three dots icon Down arrow icon Email icon Email icon Exit Fullscreen icon External link icon Facebook logo Football icon Facebook logo Instagram logo Snapchat logo YouTube logo TikTok logo Spotify logo LinkedIn logo Grid icon Key icon Left arrow icon Link icon Location icon Mail icon Menu icon Open icon Phone icon Play icon Radio icon Rewind icon Right arrow icon Search icon Select icon Selected icon TV icon Up arrow icon User icon Audio icon Add to calendar iconNFC icon AFC icon NFL icon Carousel IconList ViewWebsite InstagramTwitterFacebookSnapchatShop IconProfile Overlay AvatarAddAirplayArrow LeftArrow RightArrow UpArrow DownAudioBack 5sBack 10sBack 30sCalendarChartCheckDownLeftRightUpChromecast OffChromecast OnCloseClosed CaptionsBench OffBench OnBroad OffBroad OnVertical OffVertical OnCommentDockDoneDownloadDraftFantasyFilterForward 5sForward 10sForward 30sFull Screen OffFull Screen OnGamepassGamesInsightsKeyLeaveLiveCombineDraftFantasyMenu GamesMenu NetworkMenu NewsMenu PlayoffsMenu Pro BowlMenu ShopMenu StandingsMenu StatsMenu Super BowlMenu TeamsMenu TicketsMenuMore HorizontalMore VerticalMy LocationNetworkNewsPauseplayMultiple PlayersSingle PlayerPlaylistPlayoffsPro BowlPurgeRefreshRemoveSearchSettingsShare AndroidShare Copy URLShare EmailShare FacebookShare InstagramShare iOSShare SnapchatShare TwitterSkip NextSkip PreviousStandingsStarStatsSwapTeamsTicketsVideoVisibility OffVisibility OnVolume HiVolume LowVolume MediumVolume MuteWarningWebsite Caret downCaret upAtNewsPlayAudioGalleryPromo Chevron right