Atlanta Falcons May Have Reason to Fear the Lions


The Atlanta Falcons face the Detroit Lions on Sunday, September 24th 2017. Is there a reason to fear their opponent in Week 3?

With the Atlanta Falcons ready to play the Detroit Lions, some old memories began to brew. I recall as a young kid picking-up my brother from his high school Summer football practice one day with my dad.

We got to the field and I remember my father approaching one of the players who was a high school Senior on my brother’s team. The player he approached appeared to be physically larger than life and he became even larger the closer I got to him.

“How is your father?”, my dad asked. “He’s doing good Mr. Hall.”, responded the monster of a human being. Dad then introduced us to one another, “Dominic, this is my youngest son, Ikaika. Ikaika, this is Dominic”.

Dominic Raiola would go on to eventually become the Center for the Detroit Lions from 2001-2014.

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The Detroit Lions have started the 2017 season with a 2-0 record, and appear to be a well-rounded group of confident players ready to prove to the world what they and their fanbase believe to be true: This season, the Detroit Lions are (appear) legit.

This past Monday, the Lions defense feasted on New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning. The Lions special teams unit scored a touchdown on a punt return and their quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for 2 touchdowns (1 touchdown more than Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan threw against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night).

In their first game of the season against the Arizona Cardinals, the Lions managed to get a win. This was a win that came against the same group of Arizona starters that shut Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons offense down in a pre-season game back in August.

I suppose I can see why there would be some hype generated around the Detroit Lions right now. They defeated Arizona’s defense in week one and silenced the wide receiver duo of Odell Beckham and Brandon Marshall for the Giants in week two.

However, here is what I learned about a Lion in general after meeting Raiola as a kid. They appear to be this invincible monster at first and the closer you get to them, the more intimidating they become. Although despite the initial appearance, the hype eventually fades and they end up contributing to an NFL historically worst record of 0-16 (circa Detroit Lions 2008).

For some, including the Detroit Lions fanbase, the Lions appear to be an invincible giant, fresh off a 2-0 start. The closer we get to Sunday, some Falcons fans may have concerns regarding the Lions home field advantage, Stafford’s ability, and key injuries to the Atlanta starters.

However I am here to ease those fears. Once the game kicks off on Sunday at 1:00 PM EST, I believe it will be realized that though there is arguable reason for the hype surrounding the Detroit Lions, hype doesn’t trump reality.

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The reality is this, the Atlanta Falcons are not some little kid tagging along with their dad to pick-up their brother from football practice at St. Louis High School in Hawai’i. They are not intimidated by the Lion standing in front of them, as I was with Raiola. To the Falcons, the Lions do not appear invincible. The Falcons are ready to dispel the hype surrounding Detroit on Sunday and once again prove that they are the true monsters of the NFC.