The Falcons came into Detroit looking to get back over .500 as the Lions were looking to remain atop the NFC North with a 5-1 record. On the 3rd drive of the game, Matt Stafford threw a pick to Brent Grimes, and Grimes returned it down deep into Lions territory to set up a short drive for the Falcons where Matt Ryan hit rookie Julio Jones on a slant for a 5 yard TD pass to get the Falcons on the board first and take a 7-0 lead. But 2 plays later, Stafford handed to Jahvid Best who sprinted outside and ran all the way up the sideline for a 71 yard TD run to tie the game at 7 apiece. After a Falcons punt, the Lions drove down the field and stalled in the Redzone where Washington State Alum Jason Hansen kicked a 37 yard FG to put the Lions ahead 10-7. 2 plays later, Michael Turner coughed it up and the Lions recovered deep in Falcons territory, and it only took them 4 plays to score, with Best running it in from 1 yard out for his 2nd TD of the game and the Lions led 17-7 with only 1:19 left in the half. Matt Ryan would then lead the Falcons on a 1-minute offense, throwing the ball successfully, and finally hitting Harry Douglas on a 6 yard TD pass with :09 seconds left to bring the score at the half to Lions 17 Falcons 14. The 3rd quarter would slow things back down, and after a series of punts, Jason Snelling found the endzone on a 1 yard dive to give the Falcons the lead again at 21-17. The next Lions possession would stall, forcing a punt, and the Falcons took their time going downfield, finishing with a Turner 1 yard TD score to put the Falcons up 28-17 with only 3:37 left in the contest. That did not deter Stafford, however, as he led the Lions down field, converting on 3rd and 4th downs, before giving it to Best on a 1 yard run for the TD, to bring it to 28-23. The Lions tried for two to bring the game within a FG's reach, but the pass was thrown wide of the intended target hitting the turf, leaving the score at 28-23. The Lions then attempted an onside kick, but that was recovered by rookie Julio Jones. Atlanta ran 3 run plays, which left them just inches short of a 1st down. So the question was, do they go for it, or do they kick it??? Well, an odd decision by Coach Evans to kick a 55 yard FG to try to put the Falcons ahead 8 fell just short. When asked about his decision, Coach Evans had this to say: "Bryant looked good in warmups, he was hitting them from 60 so I figured, go for the FG and force a TD and 2-point conversion to tie." So the Lions had the ball at their own 45 yard line, 0 timeouts, and just over 1:40 left to play. After getting a first down, the Falcons decided to dial up the pressure, sacking Stafford on a blitz, then hurrying the rest of his throws. On 4th and 17, Stafford was hit and his pass fell incomplete, leaving the Falcons the ball and only 2 kneeldowns for the win. Coach Evans had this to say regarding his team's effort today: "They played great today, really showed a lot of character. After a tough loss at home, losing our defensive leader in Curtis Lofton, to bounce back like this over a quality opponent, on the road, is just tremendous!" Stats: Passing: M. Ryan (ATL) - 18/26 for 293 yards and 2 TD's M. Stafford (DET) - 11/30 for 176 yards 0 TD's 1 INT Rushing: M. Turner (ATL) - 22 for 46 1 TD 1 Fumble J. Best (DET) - 20 for 166 and 3 TD's Receiving: R. White (ATL) - 7 catches for 126 yards 0 TD's J. Jones (ATL) - 4 for 46 yards 1 TD T. Gonzales (ATL) - 3 for 87 yards M. Stovall (DET) - 6 for 91 yards C. Johnson Jr. (DET) - 1 for 11 yards Defense: S. Weatherspon (ATL) - 7 tackles 1 sack L. Sheppard (ATL) - 5 tackles 1 sack J. Babineaux (ATL) - 5 tackles 2 sacks B. Grimes (ATL) - 1 INT S. Tulloch (DET) - 10 tackles 1 sack E. Coleman (DET) - 8 tackles Players of the game: Atlanta - Matt Ryan Detroit - Jahvid Best Great game HAL9100, thanks for filling in!