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Lions

Week 7: Falcons-Lions Preview

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 25: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions calls a play at the line of scrimmage during the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings on September 25, 2011 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – SEPTEMBER 25: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions calls a play at the line of scrimmage during the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings on September 25, 2011 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

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Atlanta Falcons (3-3) at Detroit Lions (5-1)

Sunday, 1:00 ET, FOX, Sam Rosen, Brian Billick, Laura Okmin

Gameplan: Falcons RB Michael Turner rushed for 220 yards the last time he saw the Lions, and offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey has kept the ball in Turner’s hands with good success of late. That formula comes into play against a Lions defense ripped by the 49ers and Bears for 325 total rushing yards and 6.0 yards per carry the past two games. The Lions don’t strive for offensive balance but incorporate their backs in the short passing game as an extension of the running game. With RB Maurice Morris in for Jahvid Best (concussion) and a depleted backfield as a whole, pass protection remains a hot-button issue. QB Matt Stafford took several hits and was sacked five times in Week 6 and DE John Abraham can overwhelm LT Jeff Backus if he’s not given some blocking help on the edge.

Need to know: Turner has at least 20 carries and a touchdown in all three Falcons wins this season. … The Lions have outscored opponents 118-36 in the second half.

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