What are the Atlanta Falcons talking about ahead of Sunday’s Week 3 matchup against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field? Let’s find out:
1. The 2-0 Falcons have outscored opponents 27-0 over the first two weeks of the season in the fourth quarter.
“It speaks to the conditioning and the way our guys want to operate and the way we want to finish games and adjust and be that team in the fourth quarter,” Falcons head coach Arthur Smith told the Atlanta media this week via atlantafalcons.com.
2. Smith talked about being able to handle the environment on the road at Ford Field this week. He took note of the atmosphere and noise level at Ford Field against the Seahawks last week and said his team being able to handle it is important.
3. Smith on Lions quarterback Jared Goff:
“He’s a good player. A guy I think is very underrated. I mean he was the No. 1 pick. Clearly has an elite skillset. The guy has won a lot of games in this league as a starter. Took a team to a Super Bowl. Won a lot of football games.
“So, he’s a good player. I’m not sure why he doesn’t get the credit he deserves. It’ll be a challenge (for our defense). They have a good football team. They have a good (offensive) line. Tough receivers. We’re looking forward to it. It’ll be a good challenge.”
4. Former Lions cornerback Jeff Okudah will return to Ford Field for the first time since being traded from Detroit to Atlanta in the offseason. Okudah is familiar with some of Detroit’s weapons at wide receiver, and Smith said coaches always try to glean as much as they can from a player’s knowledge of an opponent but oftentimes it doesn’t matter much.
“You try to get as much information from a lot of different places but at the end of the day teams evolve so much whether you were there a month ago in training camp or not,” he said. “Week to week what their game plan will be to try and stop us and vice versa. Any information I’m sure Detroit will do the same thing. Ultimately, most teams adapt and there’s no state secrets he’s going to reveal.”
Okudah has missed the Falcons’ first two games with an ankle injury but there’s optimism he’ll make his Falcons debut in Detroit after returning to practice in limited capacity last week.
5. Smith acknowledged that Falcons running back Bijan Robinson and Lions running back Jahmyr Gibbs will be linked throughout their NFL careers because of their draft status this year being the first two backs taken. But Smith said the two are completely different players with completely different styles and skillsets. The thing that sticks out to Smith about Gibbs is his speed.
“Gibbs is a terrific player,” he said. “Good player at Tech. Good player at Alabama. Speed guy.”
6. Smith on Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown: “He’s a problem.”
Smith likes the way the Lions use St. Brown all over the formation to try and get him open.
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