Detroit — The Falcons posted back-to-back victories for the first time this season by leaning on their rushing attack, which suffered a major setback as Pro Bowl fullback Ovie Mughelli suffered a knee injury.
He left the game in the fourth quarter and did not return. He was on crutches after the game but appeared to be in good spirits. His long-term diagnosis was not revealed by the team.
The Falcons were determined to run the ball on the Lions, who entered the game giving up 5.2 yards per carry, ranking 31st in the league.
The Falcons ran the ball 31 times for 129 yards (4.2 per carry). Running back Michael Turner ran for 122 yards on 27 carries. It was his fourth 100-yard game of the season.
The Falcons stayed with the run even though Detroit was employing seven, eight and even nine men near the line of scrimmage.
“We had to impose our will,” Turner said. “We can’t just fold and give up on it because they are trying to stop the run. We had to stay consistent with it and push hard. The line was going to get the job done eventually, and they did that today.”
Turner was bottled up for most of the day before busting loose for a 50-yard run late in the third quarter.
“My eyes got big out there,” Turner said. “I knew it was going to come. I didn’t know what the play was. I was just going to have to be ready whenever that big-play opportunity came.”
The Falcons were expecting a tough time against the Lions.
“They are physical in the front four and their linebackers are good,” quarterback Matt Ryan said. “They spill things to their linebackers, and they make tackles. We kept at it. We were able to have a couple of those breakthroughs and have some big gains.”
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog