NFL Week Eight Preview – Lions at Falcons In London

Atlanta Falcons v Detroit Lions

Matt Ryan has dominated the Lions over the years, but 2014 could finally be the time that Detroit shuts him down as the Lions and Falcons do battle in London Sunday.

Ryan is 3-0 against the Lions with a 108.5 rating, but the Falcons are reeling at 2-5, and the Lions are sky-high after their comeback win over the Saints last Sunday.

“I think you learn a little bit about your team as you go, I really do,” coach Jim Caldwell told the Lions’ official website. “This is the first one that we’ve had like this one, you know, to have really come from behind and get it done with some big plays.”

Look for a Lions defense that is surrendering an NFL-low 290.3 yards per game and ranks second in points allowed with 15.0, try to carry the team to their 6th win of the season over the reeling Falcons, who have lost four in a row.

The Lions have had good play from QB Matthew Stafford. Last week Stafford finished 27 of 40 for 299 yards with two TDs and two interceptions, finding Golden Tate 10 times for 154 yards and a score.

While Tate stepped up with Calvin Johnson injured, the offense hasn’t been the same. The Lions beat the New York Giants 35-14 in their season opener but have since averaged 17.5 points over their last six games.

The Lions are hoping to get their ground game going after averaging 82.4 rushing yards, the NFL’s second-worst mark.

“It’s really close,” fellow back Joique Bell said. “If you look at it on film, it’s just one glitch that keeps us from having that explosive run, which is going to lead to more. We’re right there, we just need to get over that hump.”

Look for a big day on the ground for the Lions, as Atlanta is allowing an average of 137.7 yards and a league-worst 13 TDs on the ground.

Atlanta, which has lost six straight and 11 of 12 away from the Georgia Dome, also has plenty to clean up offensively after averaging 17.0 points during a four-game losing streak.

The numbers don’t lie, and it all should add up to a huge win overseas for the Lions Sunday.

Detroit 27 Falcons 14

Lions at Falcons Thursday Injury Report

DETROIT LIONS
Practice Report
DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE
Wednesday DE Ezekiel Ansah (toe), TE Eric Ebron (hamstring), TE Joseph Fauria (ankle), TE Brandon Pettigrew (foot), T LaAdrian Waddle (concussion)
Thursday RB Reggie Bush (ankle), TE Eric Ebron (hamstring), TE Joseph Fauria (ankle), TE Brandon Pettigrew (foot), T LaAdrian Waddle (concussion)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
Wednesday RB Reggie Bush (ankle), WR Calvin Johnson (ankle), RB Theo Riddick (hamstring)
Thursday DE Ezekiel Ansah (toe), WR Calvin Johnson (ankle)
FULL PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
Thursday RB Theo Riddick (hamstring)
ATLANTA FALCONS
Practice Report
DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE
Wednesday DE Jonathan Babineaux (foot), WR Harry Douglas (foot)
Thursday DE Jonathan Babineaux (foot)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
Wednesday G Justin Blalock (back), WR Julio Jones (ankle), LB Prince Shembo (knee)
Thursday WR Harry Douglas (foot), LB Prince Shembo (knee)
FULL PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
Thursday G Justin Blalock (back), WR Julio Jones (ankle)

Poll: NFL Week 7 Matchup – Saints Take On The Lions in Detroit

New Orleans Saints vs Detroit Lions, 2012 NFC Wild Card Playoffs


Saints vs Lions NFL Week Seven Capsule

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (2-3) AT DETROIT LIONS (4-2)

SERIES

SAINTS LIONS
SERIES LEADER 11-9-1
REG-SEA STREAKS Past 3
COACHES VS. OPP. Payton: 4-0 Caldwell: 0-2
LAST WEEK Bye (Wk. 5: W 37-31 (OT) vs. Buccaneers) W 17-3 at Vikings
LAST REG-SEA GAME 12/4/11: Lions 17 at Saints 31. New Orleans QB Drew Brees completes 26 of 36 passes for 342 yards & 3 TDs. Saints WR Robert Meachem has 119 receiving yards, including 67-yard TD.
LAST GAME AT SITE 12/21/08: Saints 42, Lions 7. New Orleans offense totals 181 rushing yards & 4 rush TDs. Saints WR Marques Colston catches 9 passes for 99 yards & 2 TDs.
BROADCAST FOX (1:00 PM ET): Chris Myers, Ronde Barber, Jennifer Hale (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 112 (NO), 135 (Det.). XM: 229 (Det.).

STATS

PASSING Brees: 150-218-1574-9-6-91.8 Stafford: 132-212-1592-7-4-88.4
RUSHING
  1. Robinson: 61-304-5.0-2
Bell: 66-226-3.4-2
RECEIVING Cooks (R): 32-255-8.0-1 Tate: 38-495 (T3C)-13.0-1
OFFENSE 442.8 (1C) 243.8
TAKE/GIVE -8 +1
DEFENSE 379.6 270.7 (1L)
SACKS Galette: 3
  1. Johnson: 4
INTs
  1. Robinson: 1
Quin, Whitehead: 2
PUNTING Morstead: 44.9 Martin: 49.1 (2L)
KICKING
  1. Graham: 34 (13/14 PAT; 7/8 FG)
Prater: 5 (2/2 PAT; 1/3 FG)

NOTES

SAINTS: QB DREW BREES is 4-0 vs. Det. (incl. playoffs), completing 115 of 153 (75.2 pct.) for 1,517 yards with 14 TDs vs. 1 INT for 133.8 rating. In 9/13/09 meeting, passed for 358 yards & 6 TDs. Since joining NO in 2006, leads NFL with 40,307 pass yards & 292 TD passes…RB PIERRE THOMAS had 112 scrimmage yards (77 rec., 35 rush) & 2 TDs (1 rush, 1 rec.) in Week 5. In WC meeting, had 121 scrimmage yards (66 rush, 55 rec.) & TD. RB MARK INGRAM had 14-yard TD run in last meeting…TE JIMMY GRAHAM had TD catch in WC meeting. Since 2011, leads NFL TEs with 304 catches, 3,883 yards & 39 TDs. WR MARQUES COLSTON had 7 catches for 120 yards in WC game vs. Det. In only game at Det., had 9 catches for 99 yards & 2 TDs. Incl. playoffs, WR ROBERT MEACHEM aims for 4th in row vs. Det. with TD & 3rd meeting in row with 100+ yards. WR BRANDIN COOKS leads NFL rookies with 32 catches…LB JUNIOR GALETTE had sack & safety in Week 5. Had sack in last meeting. LB CURTIS LOFTON had 10 tackles in his last game at Det. (10/23/11 with Atl.). DE CAMERON JORDAN has 13.5 sacks in past 20…LIONS: QB MATTHEW STAFFORD has 788 pass yards (394 per game) in past 2 meetings (incl. WC). Since 2011, ranks 2nd in NFL with 16,247 pass yards…RB REGGIE BUSH was No. 2 pick by NO in 2006. Played 5 years in NO (2006-10) & had 33 TDs (17 rush, 12 rec., 4 PR). RBs JOIQUE BELL (rush) & THEO RIDDICK (rec.) each had TD last week…In WC meeting, WR CALVIN JOHNSON had 12 catches for 211 yards & 2 TDs. In past 16 at home, has 109 catches for 1,926 yards (120.4 per game) & 10 TDs. Since 2011, leads NFL with 5,485 rec. yards & 107.5 rec. yards per game. WR GOLDEN TATE leads team in rec. (38) & rec. yards (495)…Total defense (270.7) & pass defense (197.2) lead NFL. Rush defense (73.5) ranks 2nd. LB DE ANDRE LEVY leads team with 58 tackles. Has 7 INTs since 2013, most by LB. LB TAHIR WHITEHEAD had career-high 2 INTs last week. Lions had 8 sacks last week, incl. 2.5 by DE EZEKIEL ANSAH & 2 by DT NDAMUKONG SUH.

Lions at Vikings Wednesday Injury Report

DETROIT LIONS

Practice Report

DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE

Wednesday

RB Reggie Bush (ankle), TE Joseph Fauria (ankle), WR Calvin Johnson (ankle), LB Travis Lewis (quadricep)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE

Wednesday

S Jerome Couplin (ribs)

FULL PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE

Wednesday

RB Joique Bell (concussion), RB Theo Riddick (hamstring), CB Cassius Vaughn (ankle)

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

Practice Report

DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE

Wednesday

LB Chad Greenway (hand, rib), TE Kyle Rudolph (abdomen, groin), S Harrison Smith (ankle)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE

Wednesday

DT Sharrif Floyd (elbow), WR Cordarrelle Patterson (hip)

FULL PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE

Wednesday

RB Matt Asiata (groin), QB Teddy Bridgewater (ankle), LB Michael Mauti (foot), RB Jerick McKinnon (ankle)

Poll: NFC North Battle – Who Wins The Lions or Vikings In Week 6

Detroit Lions v Minnesota Vikings


Lions vs Vikings NFL Week 6 Capsule

DETROIT LIONS (3-2) AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS (2-3)

SERIES

LIONS VIKINGS
SERIES LEADER   69-34-2
STREAKS   3 of past 4
COACHES VS. OPP. Caldwell: 0-0 Zimmer: 0-0
LAST WEEK L 17-14 vs. Bills L 42-10 at Packers
LAST GAME 12/29/13: Lions 13 at Vikings 14. Minnesota WR Cordarrelle Patterson has 50-yard rushing TD & 8-yard touchdown reception.
LAST GAME AT SITE 12/29/13
BROADCAST FOX (12:00 PM CT): Mike Goldberg, Brendon Ayanbadejo, Peter Schrager (Field Reporter). SIRIUS: 93 (Det.), 138 (Min.). XM: 232 (Min.).

STATS

PASSING Stafford: 113-179-1397 (3C)-6-4-89.1 Bridgewater (R): 31-50-467-0-0-92.7
RUSHING Bush: 45-161-3.6-1 Asiata: 62-231-3.7-3 (T2L)
RECEIVING Tate: 31-451 (3C)-14.5-1 Jennings: 17-235-13.8-1
OFFENSE 343.2 335.2
TAKE/GIVE -2 -2
DEFENSE 282.4 (1L) 347.4
SACKS G. Johnson: 2.5 Griffen: 3
INTs 4 tied: 1 H. Smith: 3 (T1L)
PUNTING Martin: 49.2 (3L) Locke: 45.0
KICKING TBD Walsh: 39 (9/9 PAT; 10/12 FG)

NOTES

LIONS: QB MATTHEW STAFFORD has 300+ pass yards in 3 of past 4 meetings. Since 2011, ranks 2nd in NFL with 16,052 pass yards…RB REGGIE BUSH had rec. TD in both games vs. Min. last year. Had 256 scrimmage yards (134 rec., 122 rush) in those 2 meetings. RB JOIQUE BELL rushed for career-high 2 TDs vs. Min. (9/8/13)…WR CALVIN JOHNSON has 19 catches for 315 yards (157.5 per game) & 3 TDs in past 2 at Min. Since 2011, leads NFL with 5,485 rec. yards & 107.5 rec. yards per game. In 11/4/12 game vs. Min. (with Sea.), WR GOLDEN TATE had 2 TDs, tied for career-high. Had 7 catches for 134 yards & TD last week, his 2nd consecutive 100-yard game…Defense ranks 1st in NFL (282.4). Pass defense (208) is 2nd in NFC & rush defense (74.4) is 3rd. LB DE ANDRE LEVY had INT in 9/8/13 meeting. Has 7 INTs since 2013, most by NFL LB. Leads team with 51 tackles. CB RASHEAN MATHIS had 41-yard INT-TD last week. Since 2010, DT NDAMUKONG SUHhas 28.5 sacks, tied for 2nd most by NFL DT. DT NICK FAIRLEY has 4 sacks in past 3 meetings & aims for 4th in row vs. Min. with sack…VIKINGS: In Week 4 win vs. Atl., rookie QB TEDDY BRIDGEWATER passed for 317 yards & had rush TD in 1st career NFL start. Bridgewater is 1 of 2 QBs with 300+ yards & 0 INTs in 1st career NFL start in past 10 seasons…RB MATT ASIATA rushed for career-high 115 yards in last game vs. Det. In past 2, has rushed for 150 yards (75 per game) & 3 TDs. RB JERICK MC KINNON has 166 rush yards, 2nd most by NFC rookie…WR-KR CORDARRELLE PATTERSON had 50-yard rush TD & 8-yard rec. TD in last meeting. Has TD in 6 of past 10 (4 rush, 3 rec.). In 13 career games vs. Det., WR GREG JENNINGS’ team are 11-2 (.846)…DE EVERSON GRIFFEN has 4 sacks in past 4 meetings. Has 5.5 sacks in past 7. DE BRIAN ROBISON has 3 sacks in past 4 home games vs. Det. S HARRISON SMITH aims for 3rd in row with INT. Has 3 INTs in 5 games in 2014, incl. 81-yard INT-TD. CB CAPTAIN MUNNERLYN ties for NFL lead with 4 INT-TDs since 2012. Smith ties for 3rd with 3 INT-TDs. LB ANTHONY BARR has 2 sacks, tied for most by NFL rookie. DT SHARRIF FLOYD had sack last week.

Lions to Ink Former Broncos Kicker Matt Prater

Houston Texans v Denver Broncos

After the nightmare that has been the Lions kicking game so far this season, the team appears on the verge of a new kicker, that being former Broncos kicker Matt Prater.

The 30-year-old was one of three kickers that tried out for the Lions today, a day after they booted Alex Henery, who was awful for the team in his stint.

How bad has the kicking been? Between Nate Freese and Henery, the team is just 1-of-9 from 40 yards or longer, and just 4-for-12 overall.

Prater has had a tough year off the field, as he was suspended four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

The 30-year-old Ohio native was 25-of-26 for the Broncos last year, leading the league in touchbacks.