Lions Pluck Falcons In Offensive Explosion by Arnold Driver Blogger, Detroit News In a battle of top NFC teams, the Detroit Lions jumped out to a solid lead and held on throughout the game to overcome the previously undefeated Atlanta Falcons 47-34. Both teams were sloppy early, with the Lions fumbling twice on the opening drive of the game, eventually turning the ball over to the Falcons. The Falcons quickly went three and out, and Detroit again utilized the running of Jahvid Best and Fred Jackson to get close enough to get a late Aaron Pettrey field goal from 48 yards out to take a 3-0 lead. The second quarter saw turnovers by the Falcons take their toll on Atlanta's faithful, as an interception by Matt Ryan into the hands of linebacker Antonio Pierce set the Lions up for a Jahvid Best 1 yard run for a 10-0 lead. A fumble deep in Falcons territory led to another Pettrey field goal and a 13-0 lead. A quick three and out by the Falcons again gave the ball back to the Lions, and Jahvid Best scored another rushing touchdown from 5 yards out to extend the lead to 20-0 late in the first half. Another turnover by the Falcons led to another touchdown when David Garrard hit Braylon Edwards from 15 yards out to get a 27-0 lead. The Falcons quickly unleashed their big play capabilities when rookie Rico Ash blew a coverage assignment and rookie tight end Tanner Talbert benefited, getting a touchdown on the 68 yard catch and run. "(Safety) Rico (Ash) blew an assignment. Rookie error and we'll work on it in practice over the next week," Coach Winuvas said on the post-game press conference. Coach Winuvas would not be denied at least a score before the half ended, and called for quarterback David Garrard to get aggressive before the half. Garrard responded, getting the team quickly down the field to the 3 yard line using a quick strike passing attack over the middle of the field. Aaron Pettrey kicked a 19 yard field goal as time expired to get the score at 30-7 going into the second half. The Falcons showed why they were undefeated going into this game, getting their offense going and getting halfback Michael Turner involved on a screenpass that the Lions overpursued on and turned into a touchdown and 30-14 game. Detroit answered yet again, with Nate Burleson the recipient of another Garrard pass from 4 yards out on a quick slant play and increasing the lead to 37-14. The fourth quarter began with a Lions field goal from Aaron Pettrey to get the score at 40-14. The Falcons then showed the fight that brought them to a 4-0 start, going to a no-huddle attack and scoring on a Harry Douglas reception from Matt Ryan to get the score at 40-21. An unexplainable missed opportunity to recover an onside kick by Brandon Pettigrew gave the Falcons the ball back and momentum. However, the dagger was brought forth by Lions cornerback Chris Houston, who got another interception of Matt Ryan and took it to the house to make it 47-21. Two late scores by the Falcons finished the scoring 47-34. The Lions were led by quarterback David Garrard, who went 22 of 29 for 371 yards and 2 touchdowns, dissecting the Atlanta secondary. Second year star halfback Jahvid Best had 21 carries for 86 yards and 2 touchdowns, while Fred Jackson had 11 carries for 32 yards in a change-of-pace role. The receiving crew was carried by Nate Burleson, who nabbed 7 balls for 165 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, there were many stars, including safety Louis Delmas (5 tackles), defensive tackle Jarron Gilbert (2 tackles, 2 sacks), safety Rico Ash (4 tackles), and linebacker Antonio Pierce (3 tackles, 2 interceptions). For the Falcons, Matt Ryan was hot and cold, hitting 22 of 33 passes for 431 yards and 5 touchdowns but also 3 interceptions. Michael Turner was kept in check mainly by the score, getting 7 carries for 35 yards. Rookies Tanner Talbert and Bensely Blake were solid, getting 5 catches for 152 yards and 2 touchdowns and 7 catches for 133 yards and 1 touchdown respectively. Defensively, the anchor was linebacker Curtis Lofton, getting 7 tackles and beign a force in the middle of the field to keep the Falcons in it. "We got lucky with turnovers and shutting down their offense early," Coach Winuvas said of his team's effort. "Sure, we played our butts off and had a lot of effort all over the field, but those stops coupled with some lucky breaks for us helped us get a lead and maintain it throughout." The Lions (4-1) head to Kansas City to play the Chiefs. It is a bit of a homecoming for second year player Ndamukong Suh, who played at Nebraska and should get a good welcome. The Falcons (4-1) get a bye week to lick their wounds and get ready for the Colts. With the win, Coach Winuvas guarantees himself an above .500 record going into the week 7 bye. Are the Lions for real now that they have overtaken the powerful Falcons? Or will their luck run out next week and beyond?