The Falcons defense flexed their collective muscles by only allowing six Lions points. Matt Stafford has only managed 58 yards passing in the game thus far. However, while the third quarter has been a struggle this season, the defense forcing a pretty quick punt was great to see even though the offense went three-and-out on their first possession of the half.
And then Falcons fans witnessed possibly their worst nightmare: Matt Ryan on the ground in clear pain. On third-down of the ensuing possession, backup tackle Will Svitek inadvertently stepped on the ankle of Ryan and he immediately went down in pain. He walked off the field under his own power, but is now on his way to the locker room. Not promising.
So, Matt Bosher, punting out of his own end zone, only managed to lift the ball to the Atlanta 46 and gave the Lions great field position. Thus far the Lions have had surprising success on the ground, and that trend continued on this particular drive. Maurice Morris broke off a run good for 31 yards as both Atlanta safeties struggled to bring down the veteran backup. Note to Mike Smith: safeties need to tackle better. William Moore has missed a few today.
But the Falcons red zone defense held strong, and limited the Lions to a 29-yard field goal. Corey Peters made a fantastic play to sack Stafford on third-down, and all day the pressure has been very good.
On offense, I would also be tempted to say the offensive line has had a good day. That, however, was negated when Will Svitek completely destroyed his QB's ankle. Now holding a 17-9 lead halfway through the third quarter, the Falcons will turn to Chris Redman to lead the offense. Let's cross our fingers and hope Ryan can return soon...
For more on this game visit Falcons blog The Falcoholic and Lions blog Pride Of Detroit, plus SB Nation Detroit.