Atlanta Falcons at Detroit Lions – Pick and Prediction
There is exactly one game on the NFL schedule this week that pits a pair of undefeated teams against one another, and it’s…the Lions against the Falcons? Sure!
We all know the deal with the Falcons by now. They essentially came out of nowhere last season to put up one of the most gaudy offensive seasons in the history of the NFL before blowing a monstrous lead and losing in heartbreaking fashion to the Patriots in the Super Bowl. Atlanta came into this season with high expectations, and they’ve gotten off to a fine start at 2-0.
An indoor game at Ford Field should suit Atlanta’s offensive firepower nicely. They’re not exactly the “Greatest Show On Turf Rams”, but they aren’t far off. Through two games, defending league MVP Matt Ryan has completed 69 percent of his throws for 573 yards with a pair of touchdowns and no interceptions.
Atlanta earned a win over the Packers in their home opener last week thanks in large part to a dominant effort on the ground. The Falcons rushed for 141 yards on 27 carries with two touchdowns as a team, while the defense held Green Bay to just 59 yards on the ground.
While limiting the Packers’ rushing attack was a positive sign, the Falcons’ defense does still have question marks. Atlanta has surrendered 242 yards per game through the air through the first two games, which ranks 23rd in the league. That could prove problematic against Matthew Stafford and his group of weapons.
The Lions are easily the most surprising of the still-unbeaten teams. They opened the season by laying the wood to a hapless Carson Palmer and the Cardinals, then promptly followed that up by absolutely obliterating a similarly-hapless Eli Manning and the Giants this past Monday night.
We’re used to thinking of Stafford’s Lions as a dynamic, over-the-top offense, but the defense has been the story for Detroit to this point. The Lions sacked Palmer once and forced four turnovers in the season opener, then sacked Manning five times and added another turnover earlier this week.
Not to be overlooked, Stafford does currently lead the league with his six touchdown passes. The league’s highest-paid player has certainly lived up to billing thus far. He’s completed 71 percent of his throws for 414 yards with those six touchdowns and just one interception.
The Falcons were one of the league’s best teams on the road last season, as they lost just two of their eight away contests. However, we love the way the Lions have been rolling on both sides of the ball. Atlanta may still be the early favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, but the Lions have the chance to put themselves on the map with a big statement win in this spot.
So, we love the value on the Lions at +140 on the moneyline. You won’t often see home underdogs in the NFL, especially when the two teams look fairly evenly matched on paper. If the Lions are for real, they have a chance to turn some heads here. This one certainly has shootout potential, as the over/under of 51 points is the second-highest on the board in Week 3.
We are buying what these Lions are selling.