3 key matchups: Falcons vs. Lions

New York Giants wide receiver Mario Manningham (82) comes down with pass for a first down as Atlanta Falcons cornerback Chris Houston (23) defends in the first quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

New York Giants wide receiver Mario Manningham (82) comes down with pass for a first down as Atlanta Falcons cornerback Chris Houston (23) defends in the first quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Falcons WR Roddy White vs. Lions CB Chris Houston: After the Falcons signed Dunta Robinson, they traded Houston, a former second-round pick, to the Lions for not much more than a 2-for-1 pizza coupon. Houston, who started 37 of 44 games he played for the Falcons from 2007-09, has developed better deep-ball skills in Detroit and was re-signed as free agent after the lockout. Since the start of the 2007 season, White’s 405 catches are the second most in the NFL. He caught a season-low two passes for 21 yards Sunday against Carolina.

Falcons CBs Brent Grimes/Dunta Robinson vs. Lions WR Calvin Johnson: Johnson is listed at 6-foot-5. The Falcons generously list both Grimes and Robinson at 5-10. Last week, Johnson recorded his 300th career catch in his 66th career game, the earliest of any player in Lions’ history. Grimes has a 42-inch vertical jump, which allows him to play much bigger. The hard-hitting Robinson likes that Johnson presents a big target. Last week, the Falcons’ secondary held Carolina’s Steve Smith to five catches for 66 yards using bracket coverage. They likely will have to use that on Johnson, too.

Falcons DE Ray Edwards vs. Lions RT Gosder Cherilus and LT Jeff Backus: Edwards has posted a sack in each of the past two games and appears to be rounding into form. In 10 career-games against the Lions, Edwards has 8.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries from his days with the Vikings. He is very familiar with Cherilus, but because the Falcons flip their ends, depending on the matchups, he’ll get a shot at Backus, too. The Falcons have posted 11 sacks, including six in their past three games. John Abraham and Lawrence Sidbury and Edwards are tied for the team lead with two sacks.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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40 comments Add your comment

Jcard120

October 22nd, 2011
10:28 am

Go Falcons!!

I love Scotch!

October 22nd, 2011
10:32 am

What? I missed first?

I hope Grimes is wearing his platform shoes.

nateslice

October 22nd, 2011
11:17 am

optimus grimes will keep magatron in check.

Observation

October 22nd, 2011
11:40 am

I have Grimes on my fantasy team that includes 6 Individual Defensive Players or IDPs in addition to the usual offensive guys. I figure he’ll be tackling Calvin all day. However if he wants to prove me wrong and score even more points with a pick, that’ll work.

Observation

October 22nd, 2011
11:42 am

Tackles and batted passes score one. Picks score 4. Sacks -3. So the rare pick 6 is huge in such leagues. (for the curious)

Reality Check

October 22nd, 2011
12:18 pm

Embarrassed by the Bears

Shutdown by the Bucs

Dominated by the Packers

Gonna beat Megatron & Suh and company?

Just sayin……………

zorro

October 22nd, 2011
12:22 pm

Has any one said or took in account or gave a rational explanation as to why Matt Ryan can’t get the job done any more. Well the answer is simple HE GOT MARRIED. And his lasting in the NFL is now more about his family at home, than his family on the field. Look at his play and you can see it for your self. I just hope that the coaches can prepare him for the game .

Falcons Chic

October 22nd, 2011
12:26 pm

I like OPTIMUS Grimes. Imagine the Romanesque battle names we could assign the Falcs.

For now, I’m just hoping Robinson’s been coached away from attempting anymore of those whiff tackles (which didn’t work) in the last two games. I thought pricey FAs came with a guarantee against those…

Reality Check

October 22nd, 2011
12:29 pm

@zorro

You may be on to something.

Could it be that the Falcons were so bad in 2007 that they made him appear better than he actually was?

Just sayin………….

B'Red

October 22nd, 2011
1:19 pm

Go Falcons!!!

DJ Sniper

October 22nd, 2011
1:52 pm

Matt Ryan getting married has nothing to do with how he’s performed this season. In the first 3 games, the offensive line bore a close resemblence to a screen door with a hole in it, so it was hard for him to get in rhythm when he had to run for his life on damn near every play. Also, we all know that Mike Mularkey’s offensive scheme doesn’t really allow him to take advantage of the weapons around him.

SeenThisBFalcon

October 22nd, 2011
3:07 pm

FALCONS 27 LIL TIGER.TIGER..TIGER ROAR’S 17.

SeenThisBFalcon

October 22nd, 2011
3:10 pm

RISE UP!!!!!!

FalconJim

October 22nd, 2011
3:14 pm

“Grimey” and Co. has got to be at the top of their game to defend Calvin Johnson….hope that’s the case….if not, I’m afraid Stafford will have a “field-day” (I’m sure he want’s to do well against his “home” team, anyway).
Also, Edwards and “the Predator” MUST have at least a sack-a-piece to keep Stafford from getting into a rhythm. Good luck guys! GO, YU DIRTY BIRDS!!!

SeenThisBFalcon

October 22nd, 2011
3:17 pm

@Falcon Jim Lil Staf Infectiob will be running for his life tomorrow look for the falcons to blitz all day knowing that Detroit has no running game the will be one dimensional.

RobbE33

October 22nd, 2011
5:22 pm

“Optimus Grimes,” that’s a good one.
Hopefully Mularkey will have a trick or two to slow the Lion’s pass rush and VanGorder something to to stymy Calvin, otherwise, we’re cat food..

JayCool 4DABirds

October 22nd, 2011
7:40 pm

Falcons win tomorrow!!!!!!!!!

Matt Dizz

October 22nd, 2011
7:54 pm

Glad to see your the most delusional fans we’ve played so far, I thought the cowboys were bad but you guys take the cake. Talk about a bunch of homers. With the exception of a couple, who expect a good close game, the rest of you are idiots who base this season off past seasons. If you think your getting the 0-16 lions guess again, and if you think we’re getting the 13-3 falcons, guess again. It will be a hards fought game on both sides and i can promise you one thing… the beter team will win. We’ll talk on monday, just remember, Bucs,Cowboys,Vikings (road) Bears, Chiefs. (If you guys play or played the 9ers get ready for the wheels to fall off) Your falcons have a balanced offense, and stout linebackers, but not very much else. Our lions have no run game, i’ll give it to you, but if you think your going to keep us of the scoreboard you need to quit your pipedream. Stafford for 300+ Johnson for 100+ and 2 TD’s. Stone Cold pick. Lock it up. See you sunday fellas. May the better team win. For you clowns that say it’s the birds before the game is played, come talk to me on monday, i’ll be back.. and it better not be a ghost town.

Matt Dizz

October 22nd, 2011
10:32 pm

Oh, ha, almost forgot. For all you lames out there who think grimes 42 inch vert is an advantage, guess what?? Calvin has a 42 inch vert too, except he’s 6′5. So do the math.. Grimes is still generously 5′10 to Calvin Johnson. Should be a fun match up, let’s see if you still think he’s optimus after this game. My money says you guys send a lynch mob for your secondary after this game. Steve Johnson cam newton is not Matthew Stafford Calvin Johnson. Still gotta play the game, any given Sunday, ya de ya da, can’t wait.

coloradofalconsfan

October 22nd, 2011
10:43 pm

Concerned about Garret Reynolds vs Suh. Not sure how our guy still has the starting job. Like our chances running the ball and mixing in play-action though. Detroit will be one-dimensional w/o Best. If we get a good rush all day on Stafford we have a chance to pull an upset. Should be a good game.

rm

October 23rd, 2011
12:29 am

Jizz…I mean dizz. Have not seen one post where someone said we blank the lions or that grimes vertical evens things out. So who’s delusional…

day old fries

October 23rd, 2011
2:48 am

matt jizz…*butthead chuckle*

SeenThisBFalcon

October 23rd, 2011
7:38 am

RISE UP CHUMPS LETS GET READY TO FEAST ON SOME LION MEAT!!!!!

peppino

October 23rd, 2011
8:45 am

The Detroit Lions play emotional football.Stop Stafford to Johnson on defense and run the ball on offense and match up with them physically if not ‘take it to them’ physically and the Falcons should get their season back on track.

peppino

October 23rd, 2011
8:48 am

D.orlando ledbetter is so square hes hip!

Samuel

October 23rd, 2011
8:56 am

Please don’t get away from the run, Michael Turner and company should have a good day. Also Roddy White needs to establish himself as one of the top recievers in the league.

Nativebird

October 23rd, 2011
9:00 am

D-Led; Nothing about Ndamukong Suh vs. our rotating set of underperforming over-their-heads-not-ready-for-the-NFL right guards? I sure hope they grow up soon! The Dahl fiasco is starting to look like the leak turned flood in the damn that Dimitroff surely missed.

Mtn Falcons

October 23rd, 2011
9:16 am

Rise up!!!!! Go Falcons!

Last Word n Sports

October 23rd, 2011
9:17 am

Falcons may surprise. See my review http://wp.me/p1E3tD-3h

SeenThisBFalcon

October 23rd, 2011
9:20 am

Time to RISE UP big day the Detroit Lions are Stafford to Johnson and that is what we need to blanket also like Peppino said if we run the ball and sustain longs drives we can keep them off the football field their not Aaron Rodgers and we are the FALCONS!!!!!!

SeenThisBFalcon

October 23rd, 2011
9:26 am

The FalconRock is the gone steal the show in Motown 31-27.

Bigg Don

October 23rd, 2011
10:13 am

I’m not sure about Optimus for a nickname for Grimes. How about Astro Boy? Showing my age a little, but he was on old japanese cartoon kid that had rockets in his feet and lip synced very badly Japanese to English. Match ups, smatch ups. It’s who wants it more. Always has, always will. That and cerebral intensity. (See Tampa game off sides with 16 seconds.)

Who dat ?

October 23rd, 2011
10:48 am

Detroit a winner, now that’s some funny shi&, lmao.

Dale Tims

October 23rd, 2011
10:51 am

A LOT OF STAFFORD TO CALVIN TALK, HOWABOUT STAFFORD TO THE TURF ! Detroit are wannabees.

Raygee

October 23rd, 2011
10:52 am

Falcons have fun and blowout the cryin lions.

Joe

October 23rd, 2011
11:13 am

Falcons don’t have a chance against the Lions. Suh, Williams and Vanden Bosch are going to run over the O. line all day. Calvin Johnson is 6′5 and the little d.b.’s are 5′10? Jump balls to him and we lose easily.

mark

October 23rd, 2011
11:32 am

Joe… Mommy is calling you… time for your bottle…

Hookwilly's Last Customer

October 23rd, 2011
11:53 am

Lions fans coming to the AJC to talk smack. Is this a sign that the end of the world is near?

Next thing you know, UGA will be in the SECCG.

My prediction – Falcons will make this a very tough game for the cubs. Can’t guarantee a win, but the Falcons can ill afford to be 3-4 going into a bye. Hopefully it will be loud and Matty Nice will have to go no-huddle. He needs to be the OC anyway.

Hookwilly's Last Customer

October 23rd, 2011
12:52 pm

BTW, Matt Ryan’s NFL debut was September 7, 2008 against the Lions. His first pass was a 62-yard touchdown to Michael Jenkins. Falcons win 34-21.

Michael M.

October 23rd, 2011
4:38 pm

Congrats to Tony G. and Michael T. today and hats off to the Birds ! Another great Team Inspired Win and a True Statement Game going into the Lions Den and taking the lead and keeping it thru the entire game. What a Team Win ! Great defense today also !
Oh what you got to say now You stupid Caints Trolls and Poor Billy yah team couldn’t score 51 points like you claimed………….yah just a bunch of Air-Heads that think yahs Teams are the best but the True Best Team is The Birds!