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article imageNFL: Lions loss second in a row with Atlanta winning 23-16

By Austin Tyler     Oct 24, 2011 in Sports
Detroit - This was a game that the Detroit Lions needed to bounce back after a tough loss last week. As for the Atlanta Falcons they needed this win as they were looking to string some wins together.
The Detroit Lions (5-2) hosted the Atlanta Falcons (4-3) for their second game at home. The Lions need to bounce back with a big win after losing a heart breaker with time running out to the San Francisco 49ers. Atlanta seems to be hitting their stride as they got back to the running game with Michael Turner.
The Lions got the ball to start the game with the ball, but could not go anywhere as they went three and out. They punted the ball away to the Falcons, but got the ball back after Matt Ryan (20/34, 218, 1 TD, 2 Int’s) threw an interception. Eric Wright picked off the pass from Ryan and returned it 22-yards. Detroit could not do much with the ball as they loss 10-yards on the drive and was forced to kick a field-goal. Jason Hanson came on and kicked a 43-yard field-goal to make it a 3-0 game.
With 6:04 left in the first quarter the Falcons got the ball back after a punt and began to move the ball with a shorten field. Michael Turner (27 carries, 122 yards) was the workhorse on this drive as he had runs of 1, 3 and 6 yards. The drive then stalled and Matt Bryant came on and kicked in a 23-yard field-goal to make it a 3-3 game.
The Falcons got the ball right back after the Lions fumbled on the ensuing kickoff. Ryan hit Harry Douglas (4 receptions, 62 yards) for 8-yard gain, and then connected with Roddy White (5 receptions 52 yards, 1 TD) for a 15-yard pass and catch. Ryan then did a quarterback sneak for a 1-yard to get a touchdown. The Falcons took a 10-3 lead to end the first quarter.
The Lions got the ball to begin the second quarter and Stafford hit Will Heller for his only catch of the game for 8-yards. Nate Burleson then took an end around for 10-yards and a first down. Kevin Williams (9 carries, 44 yards) then broke a 18-yard run to keep the drive going, but it stalled after that and they had to settle for a field-goal. Hanson came on and made a 38-yard field-goal to make it a 10-6 game.
Atlanta got the ball with 3:30 left in the half, and Ryan got them moving. Ryan hit Tony Gonzalez (5 receptions, 62 yards) with a 30-yard pass and then Turner busted out for a 19-yard run. Ryan capped off the drive with an amazing pass to White on a 18-yard touchdown pass. Ryan hit White with a pass that he had to stretch-out for a catch with tips of his fingers to give Atlanta a 17-6 lead to end the half.
At the 10:02 after the teams traded punts, the Lions took over and Stafford hit Brandon Pettigrew (4 receptions, 31 yards) with a 9-yard pass. Maurice Morris (9 carries, 50 yards) ran for 31-yards before he was pushed out of bounds. The drive then stalled when Stafford was sacked for a 10-yard loss. With it being 4th and 16, the Lions brought Hanson back on for another field-goal. Ray Edwards jumped offside and blocked the kick, but with the penalty the Lions got a second chance. Hanson made the second field-goal which was from 29-yards out and made it a 17-9 game.
Ryan had left the game with an injury and Chris Redman stepped in for him. Redman missed on his only pass of the game. Ryan then came back in on 3rd and 8 and got the ball moving with a deep pass to Douglas that went for 49-yards. The drive then stalled as the Turner ran the ball for no gain, and Ryan missed on his next two passes. Bryant came on and made a 47-yard field-goal to make it a 20-9 game.
The Lions took the ball over after the kickoff and Morris opened the drive with a 3-yard run. Detroit used a good mix of run and pass move the ball down the field. Stafford then dropped back and hit Calvin Johnson (5 receptions, 115 yards, 1 TD) with a pass that he took for 57-yards and a touchdown. The Lions made it a 20-16 game with 1:57 to go in the third.
Atlanta got the ball on the ensuing drive and Ryan connected with Gonzalez on a 10-yard pass. Turner then got the offense really going with a 50-yard run up the middle before being pushed out of bounds. Ryan then tried to hit Gonzalez with another pass, but Amari Spievey intercepted the pass for the Lions.
Detroit could not do anything with the turnover and was forced to punt the ball away after going three and out. The Falcons took over and began to try and move the ball. They tried to use Turner on the ground, and Ryan connected with White on a 14-yard pass. The drive stalled out after the catch and Bryant came on for a 40-yard field-goal. The field-goal gave the Falcons a 23-16 lead.
That sealed the game for the Falcons giving them their second win in a row, and gave the Lions their second loss in a row.
More about Detroit lions, Lions, NFL, Football, lions vs falcons 2011
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