–MLB Stephen Tulloch accused the Falcons’ offensive line of taking cheap shots at several of the Lions’ defensive linemen. “If you watch the film, look across the Falcons’ offensive line, they are late, cheap-shot guys who have been doing it ever since I’ve been playing against them,” he said. “They are chop-block guys. You watch the film and they are a real dirty team when it comes to the offensive line. I was glad we kept our composure as well as we did in that game. They came at Sammie (Hill)’s knees, at Kyle (Vanden Bosch)’s, at Cliff (Avril)’s. We are a better team than that. We don’t do that kind of stuff here. We will move on past that.”
–CB Chris Houston has a bruise on his spine that limited him during practice last week. He played, and played well on Sunday, but late in the game, took a knee to the same spot. “It’s the same thing I was dealing with all week,” Houston said. “Just got kneed on the spot by a big lineman. It hurt.”
–WR Titus Young has had just one catch the last two games, as well as three penalties for jumping the snap count. He ran the wrong route in the red zone Sunday. “Yeah, he has been quiet,” coach Jim Schwartz said. “Titus really didn’t have many opportunities in the game, but there are things he can clean up. We had one miscommunication, him and Matt (Stafford). We actually had a screen called on the play and there’s an outlet versus a blitz and he thought one thing and Matt saw it a little different. Those are things that experience will clean up.”
–RB Jahvid Best will continue to go through the battery of tests required to return after a concussion. Coach Jim Schwartz said he was still considered day-to-day, but it seems highly unlikely he would play on Sunday.
–DT Nick Fairley recorded his first NFL tackle Sunday, but he didn’t play as much as he had the previous two weeks. He was getting his foot looked at by trainers in the second half.
REPORT CARD VS. FALCONS
C – Not much good happening for the second straight week. The Falcons sacked QB Matthew Stafford three times and hit him five. He had season lows in completions (15) and yards (183). Fifty-seven of those came on one play – a 57-yard touchdown to Calvin Johnson. It’s not all on Stafford. Nate Burleson and Johnson both had drops.
B – Coach Jim Schwartz called it the best all-around rushing game of the year. Maurice Morris (50) and Keiland Williams (44) combined for 94 of the team’s 104 yards. They averaged 5.2 per rush with no negative yardage plays. Morris broke one for 31 yards and Williams had an 18-yarder.
B – They sacked Matt Ryan three times and forced two interceptions. On the one touchdown pass – an 18-yarder to Roddy White – replays showed that White should have been called for a facemask penalty on CB Chris Houston. He pulled Houston’s helmet down over his eyes when he made his break, thus creating space.
C – Michael Turner, like Frank Gore the week before, found a lot of room. He had 122 yards, including a 50-yarder.
D – Very discouraging for a team that’s put as many resources (salary and coaching) into it as the Lions have. The coverage units continue to scuffle. Eric Weems averaged 15.5 yards on punt returns, including a 37-yarder, and 27.3 on kickoffs, also with a 37-yarder. He had a 104-yard touchdown called back because of a block in the back. In addition, Lions returner Stefan Logan fumbled a kickoff return that led to a touchdown.
C – The Falcons caught the Lions by surprise early, toggling between a three-man and four-man front on defense. They sacked Stafford on his first two pass plays. The Lions adjusted to that but never could figure out the Falcons’ red-zone coverages.
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