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Lions vs. Falcons preview: ESPN’s Mike Rothstein offers Atlanta’s strengths, weaknesses

ESPN’s Mike Rothstein join our podcast to help preview Detroit Lions vs. Atlanta Falcons in Week 3.

Green Bay Packers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

To help us preview the Detroit Lions’ Week 3 matchup with the Atlanta Falcons, we called upon an old friend. Mike Rothstein, who used to be the Lions beat writer for ESPN, jumped beats to the Falcons a few years back. On Thursday, he spent a couple hours with us on First Byte to help us preview Detroit’s upcoming opponent.

Rothstein is extremely high on Falcons rookie running back Bijan Robinson—even invoking “gold jacket” talk, assuming that the talented back stays healthy for his career. However, he admits quarterback Desmond Ridder still has plenty of room to improve.

“They’re doing a lot to manage him right now,” Rothstein said. “Like, he’s not throwing the deep ball a lot and when he has, the deep balls could be a lot better. He’s learning. I don’t think it’s anywhere close to what they’re hoping it can be from him and in this offense, but he’s definitely showing signs of improvement.”

Defensively, the Falcons are aging a bit on the defensive front, but Rothstein explained how their constant rotation—much like a hockey team—helps keep them fresh and dangerous at the end of games.

“They’ve got six guys they’ll rotate in terms of a three-man front,” Rothstein explained. “And then they’ve got Bud Dupree, Lorenzo Carter, Arnold Ebiketie who they will rotate a lot as their stand-up edge rusher.”

We discuss the key matchups in this game, why the Falcons are 2-0 thus far, and make our predictions for Sunday’s game all in this week’s episode of First Byte!

Check it out below:

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