Sun, 06 Dec 2020

Falcons' next opponent: Everything to know about the Lions

Atlanta Falcons
21 Oct 2020, 17:57 GMT+10

Kelsey Conway

The Atlanta Falcons (1-5) return to Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday and will take on the Detroit Lions (2-3) at 1 p.m. ET on FOX. Both teams are coming off a win and are looking to continue to build on the momentum.

Here's what you need to know about the Lions ahead of Sunday's game:

The veteran is still getting it done

The Lions' leading rusher is 35-year-old Adrian Peterson who has 285 rushing yards on 69 carries and two touchdowns. Detroit hasn't run the ball like they would have hoped to under offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell in his second season with the club. The Lions rank No. 23 in the run game, averaging 117.4 yards per game. Rookie first-round pick DeAndre Swift is just starting to look like the player the Lions hoped he would be. Swift rushed for 116 yards on 14 carries in Detroit's Week 6 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Matthew Stafford can still sling it

For the last 10 years, the former UGA standout has his arm strength and accuracy often. Stafford has completed 102 of his passes for 1,240 yards and nine touchdowns. The Lions have the 25th ranked passing attack, averaging 230.4 yards per game. Stafford's top target has been wide receiver Kenny Golladay who's caught 14 passe for 224 yards and two touchdowns. Tight end T.J. Hockenson is also a key part of Detroit's offense and has caught 17 passes for 197 yards and three touchdowns.

Defense still trying to figure things out

The Lions drafted cornerback Jeff Okudah with the No. 3 overall pick in this year's draft. Okudah is improving each week and is showing flashes of the top cover cornerback everyone expects. He has yet to allow a touchdown this season and had eight tackles in Detroit's most recent win over Jacksonville. The defensive line play is an area the Lions had hoped to be improved this year and the unit has struggled to stop the run and get to the quarterback consistently. Defensive end Trey Flowers has two sacks and three tackles for loss. The Lions have been exposed in the run game often as they rank No. 29 against the run giving up an average of 145.0 yards per game.

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