O'HARA'S SCOUTING REPORT: Atlanta Falcons

Whatever hangover the Atlanta Falcons may have suffered from the historic collapse in their loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLI, they seem to have the prescription for short-term relief.

Take two wins in the first two weeks of the season – as the Falcons have done in beating the Bears and Packers heading into Sunday's game against the Lions at Ford Field -- and forget about seeing the doctor.

Heal thyself on the playing field is the best medicine.

The emotional pain and suffering were real – and lasting -- for the Falcons when a 28-3 lead late in the third quarter melted away and turned into a 34-28 loss to the Patriots.

It was such a shocking loss that MVP quarterback Matt Ryan wrote about the fallout in the Players Tribune before the start of the regular season.

"Under the headline "The Hangover," Ryan revealed his emotions in his column with these words:

"It was the biggest game of our lives.

View photos of the starters for the Atlanta Falcons.

"And we blew it.

"And honestly? It sucked. It still does. It probably always will.

"But now the question we're facing is: How do you come back from that?"

The recovery started in the offseason, much to the satisfaction of head coach Dan Quinn with the spirit the team showed. It has continued in the regular season.

As Quinn said in a conference-call interview with the Detroit media Wednesday, the Falcons steeled themselves for the question they knew was coming but first looked within for the answers.

"We probably spent the time on it in the offseason," Quinn said. "Even in the break (before camp), I wanted to find out if there was much work to be done or not. I really got our answer about the second day of training camp, when I really felt the speed and intent of the guys going for it."

Here's a look at how the Falcons shape up after two weeks:

How the Falcons got to 2-0: It's been a mixed bag -- a shaky performance in a 23-17 road win over the Chicago Bears in the opener, then a dominating effort most of the way in a 34-23 win over the Packers on Sunday Night TV in Week 2.

The opener was a survival test. The Bears had first and goal at the five with 21 seconds left. Three incomplete passes and a fourth-down sack preserved the win.

The turnaround in Game 2 was dramatic, but it came with the help of a Packers lineup shredded by injuries. Two fourth-quarter touchdowns by the Packers made the score look closer than the game actually was.

Falcons offense: They have talent and depth. Ryan and wide receiver Julio Jones are a quarterback-receiver combination with star power and production. Add to that a two-back rotation – two-time Pro Bowler and 1,000-yard rusher Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman – and there's a reason the Falcons are so potent.

It starts with Ryan. A four-time Pro Bowler, he was voted the league's MVP in 2016 after setting career highs for passing yards (4,944), touchdown passes (38) and passer rating (117.1).

Jones has gone over the 1,000-yard receiving mark four of the last five years, missing it only in 2013 when injuries limited him to five games. Jones has yet to break out. He has nine catches in the first two games, with an average of 19.3 yards per catch.

Freeman has been voted to the Pro Bowl the last two seasons, with rushing totals of 1,056 and 1,079 yards and 11 TDs both years. Coleman chipped in 520 yards and eight rushing TDs last year, and a 13.6-yard average on 31 catches.

Defense: It's a unit built on speed and man coverage in the secondary.

However, the Falcons will have to play without linebacker Vic Beasley, who's expected to miss a month because of a hamstring injury sustained against the Packers.

Beasley is an elite pass rusher. He had a league-high 15.5 sacks in 2016 and was on the way to another big season before the injury with a sack in each of the first two games.

Asked what the Falcons will miss with Beasley out, Quinn replied: "That speed. He can really get off the ball. We're fortunate this year. We had some depth along the defensive line. We feel like we've got some rushers."

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