The MVP vs. Highest Paid

NFC Game Of The Week

Atlanta Falcons (2-0) at Detroit Lions (2-0)

Falcons: So I simply ranted about the Falcons not looking all that great in week one against the Bears and I talked about their offensive game tempo being slowed down due to playing on grass. When they came home for their opener against the Green Bay Packers, the first thing I stated was to watch for their game speed to play a factor and when they are on their own field playing on turf, they are a much different, yet dangerous football team. They beat up on the Packers again on Sunday night and they looked good doing it. There was a balance, Devonta Freeman got his touches and the passing game, of course, led everything. The defense was fast and aggressive and right now, they’re showing that they are still the class of the NFC and everything will still travel through them. I think it’s also safe to say that they are also playing with a big chip on their shoulder after what happened in the Super Bowl and with things like that, you can either allow it to keep you down or you can rise above it and I think they’ve used it as fuel to their engine to keep moving along. The defense also played better compared to their efforts in week one. In the opener against the Bears, the Falcons had a lot of issues from a miscommunication standpoint and in week two, they looked much better all across the board. They kept Aaron Rodgers contained and in the pocket along with bringing consistent pressure. For the next month of the season though, they will be without Vic Beasley who injured his hamstring. They’re still on top of their division right now and will aim for their first 3-0 start since 2012.

Lions: I’ve been extremely impressed with them. Not just their offense, but their defense as well. Matthew Stafford so far has shown that he’s earned every penny of that contract extension that he received before the season started. This guy is clutch and he proved that when they came back and beat the Arizona Cardinals. He simply took matters into his own hands. The Lions are 2-0 for the first time since 2011 when some guy named Calvin still played for them. I really like the setup of this offense because you still don’t know who’s going to be Stafford’s top target and I said this quite a few times last season, but with Stafford then with Megatron, you knew he was getting him the football. Now, he could be targeting Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, Ebron if he’s open and could actually make a catch and the rookie, Kenny Golladay and I really like this kid, he has a really high ceiling. He gives the Lions that possession receiver that can stretch the field. He’s six-foot-four with great breakaway speed and the length to extend out to catch the football. Despite their offense, their biggest improvement has been their defense and they woke me up on Monday night with their play against the Giants. They want to establish the physical nature of the game in their favor and they don’t have to load up the box to get pressure on the quarterback. They have a really solid defensive front that can dominate up front and I think this could be a really special year for Ziggy Ansah. This is a big game with the NFC Champs coming to town.

Falcons Player To Watch: Mohamed Sanu– The trio of Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman, and Julio Jones will always pave the way for the Falcons offense and they have so far through two games. They have already established themselves as the best trio in the NFL. Mohamed Sanu has been a very pleasant and productive player for the Falcons. He’s a true second option and he knows his role within this offense.

Lions Player To Watch: Ameer Abdullah– I really enjoyed him in college and so far, he’s been getting his carries to bring some balance to the Detroit offense. The Lions running back issues have been visible for a few seasons now. Hopefully, he can continue to still provide a spark.

Final Analysis: These are two teams with high-flying offenses and I see this contest testing both teams and this coming down to the very end. The three major points for the Lions gameplan on Sunday are these: First, they can’t come up empty-handed against a team like Atlanta. They will need all the points they can get. Next, they must take care of the ball. They can lose the turnover battle against the weaker opponents, but this won’t work against the Falcons and the most important tip for them is to control the clock and keep the Falcons defense on the field. For Atlanta, just play your own game. Start early, score when you can and everything else will fall into place.

Prediction: Lions 31 Falcons 28