Week 7 Preview: Detroit Lions vs. Atlanta Falcons

Week 7 Preview: Detroit Lions vs. Atlanta Falcons

by October 25, 2020 0 comments

The Detroit Lions (2-3) and Atlanta Falcons (1-5) are both coming off convincing victories. While the Falcons try to build on their first win, the Lions will be trying to even their record and make it three wins in their last four games.

The Lions’ Approach

After putting up 180 yards on the ground last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit will try to play ball control again. It won’t be as easy against the Falcons. Atlanta is stingy when it comes to allowing yards on the ground, ranking second in the NFL in run defense. D’Andre Swift will be a key to the Lions’ success today. The rookie out of Georgia showed off his talent last week with 116 yards rushing on just 14 carries. Swift is also second on the team in receptions with 16. While the Falcons are very good against the run, they are horrible against the pass. They have surrendered 2,012 passing yards and given up 18 TDs through the air. If Detroit can soften up the middle of the field with Swift and Adrian Peterson, Matthew Stafford will have a field day against the vulnerable Falcons secondary.

The Falcons’ Approach

Matt Ryan torched the Minnesota Vikings last week to the tune of 30-40, 371 yards, and four TDs. Detroit’s pass defense is not nearly as bad, ranking in the middle of the pack at 15th. Nevertheless, new coach Raheem Morris may take a similar approach to Matt Patricia: Go with what worked last week. Ryan has a great one-two punch in Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones. Look for Atlanta to stretch the defense early and then go to the run if they establish a lead. Todd Gurley has been solid this season rushing for 422 yards and five TDs on 99 carries. He has chipped in 11 catches for 58 yards as well. Detroit’s defense has given up nearly five yards per carry this season and seven rushing TDs in five games. Expect to see Gurley get his fair share of carries at some point. Ryan doesn’t need to throw to his backs as he has the aforementioned Ridley and Jones as well as the underrated Russell Gage. The third-year receiver from LSU is a trustworthy third option for Ryan. Gage is third on the team in receptions with 25. If the Lions and their star rookie Jeff Okudah can corral Jones and Ridley a bit, expect Gage to become a factor in the passing game.

Game Info

Date: October 25, 2020

Start Time: 1:00 P.M. ET

Location: Atlanta, GA

Stadium: Mercedes-Benz Stadium

TV Info: Fox

Betting Odds Sponsored by Jazz Sportsbook

Point Spread:  DET +1.5 (-110) | ATL -1.5 (-110)

Moneyline: DET +100 | ATL -130

Over/Under: O 55 (-110) | U 55 (-110)

These two teams are evenly matched so stay away from taking either team either straight up or with the spread. The main play here is the over. Neither defense is great and both offenses have explosive weapons. They also have two veteran quarterbacks who can put points up on the board in a hurry. This should be a close game as Ryan and Stafford trade shots all day. If this O/U was 60, the over would still be a solid play. 55 points? Consider that a lock and you can probably start counting your money by the third quarter.

Prediction

Both teams are coming off victories, but they were both against bad teams. Detroit and Atlanta are better than their records indicate, although they have their flaws. Something has to give today and it will be the Lions’ defense in the end. The scoring will be back and forth, but eventually, the Falcons make a stop late in the fourth quarter and Ryan drives down the field for the winning score.

Final Score: Detroit Lions 34, Atlanta Falcons 39

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Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images

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