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Lions vs. Falcons quick thoughts: What Just Happened?

A collection of thoughts on the Lions’ exciting win.

Detroit Lions v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

There’s just so many thing I want to say about the Lions’ amazing 23-22 win over the Atlanta Falcons. I’m just too excited right now. So I’ll let Uncle Phil do the talking for a moment.

Alright, now I’m calm. As always, I have thoughts on this game, these are those thoughts.

I’m just so damn happy

After everything that’s gone on in 2020 and everything that’s happened early in the Lions’ season, man, we just needed a moment like this. The Lions never gave up—even when everyone on Twitter, myself included, was expecting to feel horrible after another close Lions’ loss. Who else had a mini heart attack while the Kenny Golladay catch was being reviewed?

Look, there were some bad things that happened to get to this win, and we’ll talk about those, but the theme coming away from this game should be that the Lions are not the same team they were a few weeks ago. They refused to give up.

Todd, what are you doing?

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s all thank Todd Gurley for a few different things. First off, we should thank him for scoring the touchdown that did not need to be scored. That obviously gave the Lions the chance to head down the field and win the game.

Secondly, I’d like to thank Todd Gurley for allowing us to see a defensive player cheer for a touchdown against theirown team. Thank you, Todd.

Finally, I’d like to thank Todd for the extra fantasy point that put me up big against the guy who’s in first place in our league. Thank you, Todd.

Don’t call it a comeback, Stafford never left

Matthew Stafford was on-point in this game when the Lions coaching staff let him be. Stafford went 25-of-36 for 340 yards and a touchdown. He completed 69.4 percent of his passes (nice) and had a passer rating of 108.6. While Stafford’s pass to Hockenson in the end zone was great, the throw to Kenny Golladay set it all up was amazing, too. Stafford had a shaky first few games this season, but right now he looks like the great quarterback we all know and love.

Kenny after the last few games:

Seriously, pay this guy, Bob. What more do you need to see? Golladay racked up beautiful catch after beautiful catch on Sunday for 119 yards and 19 yards per grab. This contract needs to be done. If I were Bob, I would show up with a briefcase of money handcuffed to a security guy and a brand new car with a bow on it. The car also has money in it. Get it done, Bob.

Was the Lions defense good? I can’t tell

There’s two arguments to be made for both sides. On one hand, the Lions gave up 388 total yards of offense, allowed scoring drives of 89, 71, 98, and 76 yards.

On the other hand the Lions did a good job of stopping the run. Yes, even though they purposely let Todd Gurley score a touchdown. That was a brilliant defensive play, by the way. For the most part, they also managed to keep the Falcons, who scored 40 points last week, from getting into the end zone too many times.

Don’t forget the turnover they forced. Oh yeah, they also got two sacks.

I think at the end of the day, saying they did alright is a fine enough answer to describe the Lions defense. I think it’s still fair to say they’re trending upwards. Week 8’s game against the Colts will be a true test.

No, Adrian!

Picture that in Rocky’s voice. I’m sorry, everyone. I have to complain about something. The Lions are setting themselves back with Adrian Peterson at this point. People shouldn’t be able to sit at home and call the next play consistently every time a guy is on the field. If fans are doing that, defenses are damn sure doing it. It’s completely predictable, and that’s why every time Peterson got a carry, you knew he would get another one right after that. That’s why the Falcons stopped it every time, and that’s why the Lions got burnt on two different 1-yard conversion situations. D’Andre Swift didn’t have a much better day, but he never really got the right chances to.

The Lions offense should be fast and up-tempo. It usually is when Swift is in. But when Peterson comes on the field, the game slows down to almost a halt and the Lions wind up burning too many drives. There’s a place on this team for Adrian, but it should not be as the Lions’ main ball carrier.

Where do we from here?

The Lions have won back-to-back games in their favorable seven-game stretch. This is the start you’re looking for. Now can they keep it going? We’re going to find out soon enough when the Lions play the Colts in Week 8. That will be a game that is sure to be a challenge for this suddenly .500 team, but we’ll worry about that later. You know what to do now, right? Get your significant other off the couch and dance, dammit. But this week I want you to slow dance and see where things go. Take it away, fellas.

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.