Two teams that many feel will struggle will battle at the Georgia Dome Sunday afternoon, as the Detroit Lions, coming off a perfect preseason, take on the Atlanta Falcons. The Lions have looked sharp in the preseason, but many still think they are a team that is going to have its issues. The team collapsed last year after starting off red hot, and are hoping they can use the preseason as a spring board to a big opening day win.
The Lions will attack the weak Falcons D-line with rookie back Kevin Smith, who has looked great in the preseason. Detroit’s O-line is in transition, and will need a good effort each and evey week to open holes for Smith and keep aging QB Jon Kitna on his feet. Kitna has played well in camp and in preseason games, and will look to Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson against the Falcons secondary.
Atlanta goes with rookie QB Matt Ryan, and he’s been the best of the bunch of QB’s for the Falcons. He needs his O-line to play well, and look for the game plan to keep it simple throwing the ball, and to use new workhorse back Michael Turner to attack the Lions defense. If Turner can get off to a good start, it will take all that more pressure off of Ryan to make plays.
In the end, the Lions offense will be able to score, and Atlanta, looking to be competitive and put last year behind them, won’t be able to match that firepower. The Lions want to prove the first half of last season was no fluke, and will walk out of the ATL with an opening day victory.