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Monday, 19 November, 2018

Falcons won't have it easy against Detroit

Resilient Lions fight to the end

Matthew Stafford has led the charge for Detroit
1 of 1

Sky Sports Action, 6pm Sunday

Atlanta looked shaky in a 23-17 opening-week victory over Chicago but anyone who questioned whether they would suffer a hangover from their Super Bowl defeat last year was emphatically answered when they beat Green Bay last week.

Many will see the Packers as potential challengers to the Falcons making a successful defence of their NFC crown, but Green Bay's NFC North rivals Detroit can provide a tough test for Dan Quinn's charges.

Like Atlanta, the Lions have won both their opening matches and even though it seems likely that Arizona and the New York Giants will not prove to be among the league's strongest outfits, they are still victories that should not be sniffed at.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford leads a Detroit offence who don't know when they are beaten - eight of their nine regular-season victories last season came when they were losing at the start of the fourth quarter.

That was the case again when they scored 20 final-period points to claim their success over the Cardinals.

The Falcons possess a potent attack under the direction of Matt Ryan, strong on the ground and through the air, and it may be difficult for the Lions to stay close enough to win on the handicap.

However, the Los Angeles Rams were the only team in the NFC to score more points in their first two games than the boys from Michigan.

And if an offence as weak as Chicago's can score 17 points against Atlanta, then a team with the spirit of Detroit should be capable of scoring 24 in what promises to be an open game.

Recommendation
Over 23.5 Detroit points
1pt 13-15 Betway

Team news
Atlanta
Defensive end Courtney Upshaw (ankle) and linebacker Vic Beasley (hamstring) are out.

Detroit
Linebacker Jarrad Davis (concussion) and safety Tavon Wilson (shoulder) are out. Defensive end Ziggy Ansah (knee) is hoping to play.

Key stat
The points total has gone over the line in ten of Atlanta's last 11 matches.


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Quarterback Matt Stafford leads a Detroit offence who don't know when they are beaten
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