NFL Week 7: Atlanta Falcons @ Detroit Lions

Atlanta Falcons @ Detroit Lions Sun. Oct. 23, 2011 1 p.m. EST

After losing their first game of the NFL regular season to the San Francisco 49ers (25-19), the Detroit Lions will look to bounce back with a vengeance in Week 7 as they will go head-to-head against Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons.

Even though the Atlanta Falcons were dubbed legitimate Super Bowl title contenders coming into this NFL regular season, Matt Ryan and company have struggled in the first six weeks by putting up mediocre numbers and showing the rest of the league that this is still a young and inexperienced football team. The Falcons might be coming off a win over Cam Newton and the division rival Carolina Panthers in Week 6 (31-17) in which they put up 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, but that was a game that they shouldn’t have struggled in and should have gotten the convincing victory regardless.

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With the Atlanta Falcons being as talented as they are on both sides of the football, the 3-3 record heading into Week 7 isn’t turning any heads. There is no question that Falcons have had a tough schedule to start the season with games against the Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers, but this team was thought to be prepared for such a schedule and just hasn’t been.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback

Matt Ryan

In Week 7, the Atlanta Falcons will be challenged yet again as they will have to travel to Detroit to take on a very good Lions football team. Not only do the Lions have arguably one of the best offenses in the NFL led by quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Calvin Johnson, but there defense is much improved this season with a new sense of purpose and confidence that will almost certainly lead them into the playoffs.

The loss to the San Francisco 49ers was disappointing as the Detroit Lions could’ve pulled out the win, but they will have a great opportunity to show that they haven’t missed a step by getting the best of the Atlanta Falcons in front of the hometown this weekend. It could be argued that a loss to the Falcons for the Lions would not be devastating as it could be just what this team needs to improve on both sides of the football, but a loss for Atlanta would be devastating as they might start to see their hopes for a playoff berth in the NFC Conference slowly slip away.

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As of right now, the Detroit Lions have been favored to bounce back in Week 7 with a -4 point spread. This spread will be tough one to take considering how well the Falcons play when motivated and forced into a corner, but the Lions just seem like the better all-around football team at this point in time and ready to get back on track with a sixth win on the season.

Take the Lions at -4.

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