News & Analysis

NFL Week 7 PFF ReFocused: Detroit Lions 23, Atlanta Falcons 22

Oct 25, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) passes against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

In a game predicted to be a high-scoring affair, the offenses remained somewhat stagnant until a wild final few minutes culminated in the Detroit Lions coming away victorious, 23-22, against the Atlanta Falcons

The Lions capitalized on a Todd Gurley II mental mistake after he failed to bleed the clock by falling down short of the goal line. They subsequently drove down the field in 1:04 to score a touchdown as time expired. 

Editor's note: All of PFF's grades and advanced stats from this game will be finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers within 24 hours of the final whistle.

Story of the game

The offenses fell short of the lofty 55-point pregame total, but both quarterbacks passed for over 300 yards and each team had four receivers with at least 50 yards receiving. 

Matthew Stafford has been heating up the past few weeks, and this matchup was no exception. He had an impressive day pushing the ball downfield against a below-average Falcons secondary, generating an average depth of target of 10.4 yards and completing 81.1% of his passes thrown 15-plus yards downfield that accounted for 210 of his 340 yards. 

Kenny Golladay, Stafford’s top target, has been on another level since coming back from a hamstring injury that sidelined him for the team’s first two games. All six of Golladay’s receptions were contested catches, and five gained over 10 yards. It was Golladay’s fourth straight game with either a touchdown or 100 yards receiving this season. 

The usual suspects performed well for the Falcons. Matt Ryan tossed for his third 300-plus yard game this season but found the end zone only once through the air. He completed 83.3% of his passes that were thrown 10-plus yards downfield. 

Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones were able to continue their successes despite the team's 1-6 record. This was Ridley’s sixth game this season with either 100 yards or a touchdown. Jones caught eight passes for 90-plus yards in his second straight game.

Oct 25, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Detroit Lions running back D'Andre Swift (32) reacts with offensive tackle Tyrell Crosby (65) after running for a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons during the first quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Rookie Watch

D’Andre Swift continued to gain more of a solidified role in the Lions' offense after another impressive game. Swift was on the field for 26 of Detroit's 59 offensive snaps and ran in the lone rushing score, gaining 48 total yards on the day. 

Jonah Jackson was on the field for every offensive snap for Detroit. He gave up no sacks on the day but did surrender three total pressures against the Falcons' pass rush. 

On the other side of the ball, Jeffrey Okudah was targeted eight times, allowing four receptions for 48 yards. John Penisini was on the field for 34 plays and had two tackles on the day. 

For the Falcons, A.J. Terrell was targeted only three times and allowed just two receptions for 34 yards. Mykal Walker played a limited number of snaps but was in on a tackle that stopped Adrian Peterson from scoring on fourth-and-short near the goal line. 

ELITE subscribers can view player grades, advanced statistics, positional snap counts and more in Premium Stats 2.0.

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