The Detroit Lions and the Atlanta Falcons will face off against one another live from London on Sunday morning (9:30 Eastern Standard Time) in a regular season NFL game. It’s ironic that that the NFL chose these two team to play because much like the travel to London, these are two teams that are headed in different directions. The Lions find themselves at 5-2 overall and have won their last two games. While they have not been dominant they have been productive enough to win games behind one of the best overall defenses in the NFL and an offense that is getting the job done despite the absence of star wide receiver Calvin Johnson. They are tied with The Packers for first place in the NFC South and will only get better whenever Johnson returns. While the Lions are improving daily and are looking like a playoff team, the Falcons have the look of a team that may not win another game this season. After a 40 point win in week three against Tampa Bay, they have lost 4 straight games, all by at least 10 points. Yet they still find themselves only 1.5 games out of first place, trailing the Panthers in a weak NFC South.
The Lions may have Johnson back for the game this weekend. He is scheduled to take the flight to London with his teammates on Thursday and there is no way the Lions would have sent him on an international flight unless they thought he had a legitimate chance of playing. Last week vs. the Saints they proved that even when they are down they will be able to make a comeback. The Saints dominated the game for most of the contest and held a 23-10 lead with less than 4:00 remaining. First Stafford for a long catch and run touchdown that made the score 23-17. Then it was up to the defense to force a three and out when the Saints surprisingly elected to throw a pass on third down and it was intercepted by safety Glover Quinn and returned all the way to the Saints 14 yard line. It appeared the Lions were going to still going to lose the game when they were unable to convert on fourth down, however they received a questionable pass interference call that gave Detroit a fresh set of downs and the eventual game winning catch by Corey Fuller.
The Falcons have been decimated by injuries along the offensive line. Center Peter Kontz was lost for the season against The Raiders and that made him the fourth starting offensive lineman to be lost for the season by the Falcons. With so many mounting injuries it is nearly impossible for them to get quarterback Matt Ryan the time he needs to get the ball to star receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones. The injuries on the offensive line are almost as bad in the secondary where poor play and injuries have been a big problem all season long.
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