Are Detroit Lions ready to make a statement against Falcons?

DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 25: Matthew Stafford
DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 25: Matthew Stafford /

The Detroit Lions sit at 2-0 and are one of the top teams in the NFC. But are the Lions ready to defeat the best team in the NFC, the Atlanta Falcons?

The Detroit Lions are a team that’s been living in the shadow of the Green Bay Packers.  But after a 2-0 start to the season, the Lions have a chance to come out of the shadows and cement themselves as a Super Bowl contender with a win over the Atlanta Falcons in week 3.

The Falcons made a statement themselves in week 2 with a resounding win at home over the Packers and now it’s the Lions turn.  But do the Lions have what it takes to win with the eyes of the football world upon them?

Make no mistake about it, this game is a huge opportunity for the Detroit Lions.  They get the Atlanta Falcons at home and their best defensive player,  Vic Beasley won’t play due to a hamstring injury.

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The Lions are coming off an impressive win themselves on Monday Night Football, where they handled the New York Giants.  However, the Atlanta Falcons are on an entirely different level, but that doesn’t mean they’re unbeatable.

In week one, the Chicago Bears nearly beat the Falcons.  So there’s cause for optimism with the Detroit Lions.  The Falcons have MVP quarterback Matt Ryan, but Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is knocking on the door of the elite QB’s in the league.  A win over Matt Ryan could enhance that status for him.

Defensive end Ziggy Ansah is a proven pass rushing threat off the edge.  A’Shawn Robinson is becoming a force at defensive tackle and Darius Slay is a very good cornerback.  So defensively they have some pieces to make a run at the NFC North title.

Head coach Jim Caldwell has done a good job of keeping the team focused and creating a winning style of football.  However, with that being said I think the Lions still have some flaws that they need to work on.

What are the Lions missing?

I like Ameer Abdullah but I’m not convinced he’s a feature running back yet.  I don’t think the Lions have a true number one wide receiver either.  Golden Tate and Marvin Jones are both good, but on the other side is the best in the game in Julio Jones.

The Lions have some other nice players on defense, but they lack a play maker at linebacker.  I like Paul Worrilow, but he was a backup for the Falcons and now he’s starting for the Lions.  I think that says something about the depth between the teams defensively.

However, the Lions can still beat the Falcons.  They’ll need to win the turnover battle, continue to get outstanding plays on special teams and limit big plays from the Falcons offense.  They can’t win a shoot out with the Falcons, but if they can do the above mentioned things, then they can win.

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I do think the Detroit Lions are ready to compete in a game of this magnitude.  But are the Lions ready to make a statement and win this game?  I don’t believe they are.  They’re still missing some things they need to beat a team like the Atlanta Falcons.  The Lions are getting closer but not quite there yet.