Five X-Factors in the Atlanta Falcons-Detroit Lions Matchup

Green Bay Packers v Atlanta Falcons
Green Bay Packers v Atlanta Falcons / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages
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3. Jahmyr Gibbs

Jahmyr Gibbs
Seattle Seahawks v Detroit Lions / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

Continuing the trend of injuries affecting this matchup, it seems unlikely that David Montgomery will suit up for the Lions this week. If he’s unable to go, Gibbs should serve as the workhouse running back and take on a larger role within the offense.

Throughout his first two games, Gibbs has been a disappointment for fantasy owners but also let his team down last week. The young running back has only totaled 116 total yards, has yet to score a touchdown, and only averaged 2.4 yards on 7 carries against Seattle on Sunday.

If Gibbs can produce in a consistent manner and help keep the Lions’ offense moving, the Falcons run defense could be in for a long day. He was expected to handle a massive role as a dual-threat rusher and this could serve as his breakout game.

4. Kyle Pitts

Kyle Pitts
Green Bay Packers v Atlanta Falcons / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

Although the Atlanta Falcons are 2-0, Kyle Pitts still hasn’t contributed in a huge way that many fans may have expected. He has only totaled 59 yards on four receptions and hasn’t seemed to find a connection with Desmond Ridder.

It seems everyone is waiting for his breakout game this season, and both him and the team are likely hoping this is the week for it. The Lions allowed Seahawks’ tight ends to produce over 130 receiving yards which is a good sign for Pitts.

Even putting up 55-60 yards in this matchup could be the start of his rebound and help get both him and Ridder on a better path moving forward. If the Falcons have dreams of making the playoffs, they’ll need to get Pitts more involved and allow him to provide a better offensive balance.

5. Jack Fox

Jack Fox
Detroit Lions v Kansas City Chiefs / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

Special teams will always be an underrated aspect of the NFL, but punters and kickers can play a role within an individual matchup. Jack Fox has only had to punt six times so far this season, but he’s helped the Lions maintain strong field position in both games so far.

During their week one matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, he pinned the Chiefs’ offense within their 20-yard line three times and averaged almost 45 yards a punt. Last week, he only had to punt one time, but it went for 53 yards.

Considering the offensive system the Atlanta Falcons run, putting them in bad field position will be an important factor in this matchup. Ensuring they’re forced to take long drives and put the ball in Ridder’s hands more often could stop the team from running their preferred offensive style and take the ball away from Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier.