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