Falcons-Lions Preseason Preview

Falcons-Lions Preseason Preview

Brian McIntyre of FalconInsider.com preview this afternoon's Atlanta Falcons 2009 preseason opener against the Detroit Lions.

Atlanta Falcons (0-0) at Detroit Lions (0-0)

Preseason Series: Atlanta and Detroit have met three previous times in the preseason, with the Falcons holding a 2-1 edge in the series. 

Notable Newcomers
Detroit Lions
Phillip Buchanon, CB (UFA, Tampa Bay)
Will Heller, TE (UFA, Seattle)
Grady Jackson, DT (UFA, Atlanta)
Bryant Johnson, WR (UFA, San Francisco)
Daniel Loper, OT (UFA, Tennessee)
Eric King, CB (UFA, Tennessee)
Maurice Morris, RB (UFA, Seattle)
Terrelle Smith, FB (UFA, Arizona)
Cody Spencer, LB (UFA, NY Jets)

Atlanta Falcons
Tony Gonzalez, TE (Trade, Kansas City)
Mike Peterson, LB (UFA, Jacksonville)
Brett Romberg, C (UFA, St. Louis)

2009 Draft Class
Detroit
Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia (1st round, 1st overall)
Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State (1st round, 20th overall)
Louis Delmas, S, Western Michigan (2nd round, 33rd overall)
DeAndre Levy, LB, Wisconsin (3rd round, 76th overall)
Derrick Williams, WR, Penn State (3rd round, 82nd overall)
Sammie Lee Hill, DT, Stillman (4th round, 115th overall)
Aaron Brown, RB, TCU (6th round, 192nd overall)
Lydon Murtha, OT, Nebraska (7th round, 228th overall)
Zack Follett, LB, California (7th round, 235th overall)
Dan Gronkowski, TE, Maryland (7th round, 255th overall)

Atlanta
Peria Jerry, DT, Mississippi (1st round, 24th overall)
William Moore, S, Missouri (2nd round, 55th overall)
Christopher Owens, CB, San Jose State (3rd round, 90th overall)
Lawrence Sidbury, DE, Richmond (4th round, 125th overall)
William Middleton, CB, Furman (5th round, 138th overall)
Garrett Reynolds, OT, North Carolina (5th round, 156th overall)
Spencer Adkins, LB, Miami (6th round, 176th overall)
Vance Walker, DT, Georgia Tech (7th round, 210th overall)

Stats & Rankings (2008 regular season rankings)

Detroit
Offense
Total: 30th (268.3 yards per game)
Passing: 24th (185.0 yards per game)
Rushing: 30th (83.3 yards per game)
Scoring: 27th (16.8 points per game)

Defense
Total: 32nd (404.4 yards per game)
Passing: 27th (232.3 yards per game)
Rushing: 32nd (172.1 yards per game)
Scoring: 32nd (32.3 points per game)

Turnover Ratio: 28th (-9)

Atlanta

Offense
Total: 6th (361.2 yards per game)
Passing: 14th (208.5 yards per game)
Rushing: 2nd (152.7 yards per game)
Scoring: 10th (24.4 points per game)

Defense
Total: 24th (347.9 yards per game)
Passing: 21st (220.4 yards per game)
Rushing: 25th (127.5 yards per game)
Scoring: 11th (20.3 points per game)

Turnover Ratio: 21st (-3)

Injury Report

Falcons second-round safety William Moore and wide receiver Harry Douglas (knee) are "Out". (Douglas is still on the 80-man roster) Linebacker Edmund Miles (knee) and defensive tackle Jason Jefferson (hip) are game-time decisions.

TV/Radio

WXIA has the broadcast, with Randy Waters on the play-by-play, Brian Baldinger providing the color commentary, and Fred Kalil reporting from the sidelines. Dave-FM (92.9) has the radio broadcast, with Wes Durham and Dave Archer on the call.

Falcons to Watch

Five (plus) Falcons to watch on Saturday night:

Tony Gonzalez – Falcons fans get their first look at future Hall of Fame tight end, who should improve the Falcons' 14th-ranked red zone offense.

Peria Jerry – As noted above, the Falcons ranked 25th against the run in 2008. Selecting Jerry in the first round was a big step towards improving that aspect of the defense.

Christopher Owens/Brent Grimes/Chevis Jackson – This trio, including the team's third-round picks in each of the last two drafts, are in the mix for Domonique Foxworth's old starting job.

Jamaal Anderson – Fans are still waiting for Anderson to become the impact defender many thought he'd become when the Falcons chose him with the 8th overall pick in 2007.

Thomas Brown – It's too early in the preseason to put a saddle on Michael Turner or give Jerious Norwood too many carries, so the former UGA standout figures to get plenty of carries in today's preseason opener.

 

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