The Atlanta Falcons will take on the Detroit Lions this weekend in what should be a high-scoring game. The matchup will come down to which defense can get a stop at the end of the game. The Lions receiving corps has been up and down this year, but could have a big week against the Falcons' defensive backs.
Kenny Golladay is starting to assert himself as one of the better receivers in the NFL and is the No. 1 option in Detroit. He missed the first two games of the season with an injury, but since returning he has caught 14 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns. The former third-round pick has really improved in jump-ball situations over his career and is a downfield threat.
There's a talent drop-off after Golladay, as Marvin Jones Jr. has regressed this season. Through six weeks, he has 14 catches for 146 yards and a touchdown. He is averaging just under two yards of separation this for the year.
Danny Amendola is the team's No. 3 option, and has 12 catches and 208 yards on the year. Tight end T.J Hockenson is becoming one of quarterback Matthew Stafford’s favorite weapons, with 17 catches for 197 yards and three touchdowns. The former first-round pick is averaging about five yards before the catch, which underscores his safety-valve role.
Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell will have his hands full with Golladay this week. The rookie missed two games this season, but when he has been on the field, opposing quarterbacks have targeted him 20 times and completed 17 passes. He is also giving up 13.8 yards per reception.
Kendall Sheffield and Isaiah Oliver should be able to hold their own against Jones and Amendola, who have not been playing at a high level this season.
Stafford is the X-factor in this matchup. The Falcons secondary has been average this season, but so has the Detroit receiving corps. The game could come down to which version of Stafford shows up this week.
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