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O'HARA'S WEEK 3 PREVIEW: Campbell relishes the challenge of getting his team to bounce back

For Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell, bouncing back from an overtime loss to Seattle that hurt all the more because of the rash of injuries sustained by his team starts in a familiar place.

"I told the guys this morning ... it's about us," Campbell said at his press conference.

The Lions are facing a tough opponent in the Atlanta Falcons at Ford Field Sunday. The Falcons are 2-0, with wins over Carolina and Green Bay.

The Lions are 1-1, with a win over the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs and last week's overtime loss to Seattle.

Campbell is looking for his team to revert to the character it showed last season in going 8-2 after a 1-6 start.

The Lions played tough, hard-nose football in starting the season with a win over the Chiefs Week 1. Some of that edge was missing in the loss to Seattle.

"Let's get back to what we're about – our identity," Campbell said. "Let's get back to all those things that we preach on offense and defense."

Campbell clearly relishes the challenge of getting his team to bounce back.

"I hate losing, but I love this," he said. "This is what we're all about. We're back to reality.

"We're back in the mud. It's doom and gloom outside of this building. It takes all of us to win. It's going to take all three phases (offense, defense, special teams).

"This is challenge accepted."


Star: Rookie Bijan Robinson has already shown he can be one of the NFL's top running backs. He had 172 yards from scrimmage in Sunday's win over the Packers—124 rushing and 48 receiving.

QB find: The Falcons reached down to the third round to draft Desmond Ridder of Cincinnati. Ridder has won his last four starts—the last two games last season, and the first two this season.

"He's a winner," head coach Arthur Smith said in a press conference earlier this week. "Guys believe in him. You can see it."

Ridder has a 68-percent completion rate, two TDs and one interception.

Depth: Atlanta has depth at running back behind Robinson. Tyler Allgeier showed it as a rookie fifth-round draft pick in 2022. He rushed for 1,035 yards and three TDs.

In two games this year he's rushed for 123 yards and two TDs.

View photos of the starters for the Atlanta Falcons.


Trust: Quarterback Jared Goff says he trusts wide receiver Josh Reynolds, and the stats show why. Reynolds has nine catches on 13 targets, for an average of 16.2 yards per catch. All nine of Reynolds' receptions have been for first downs, and two were for touchdowns.

Scoring: The Lions have picked up on offense where they left off last season. They averaged 380 yards per game in 2022, fourth most in the league. They rank third after two games, averaging 393 yards.

Run stoppers: The Lions have done a decent job against the run in the first two games. They rank ninth in the league, allowing an average of 91.5 yards per game.

Key, offense - Turnovers: They have to take better care of the football, which has not been a problem in the past.

They lost two fumbles in the first two games, and both erased scoring opportunities. They had an interception returned for a touchdown in the loss to Seattle.

Key, defense - Control the quarterback: Keep Ridder contained inside the pass rush lanes so the pass rushers can get to him.

Lions-Falcons pick:

Week 3 is too early for the Lions to face a "must-win" game, but it's not too early to be concerned about slipping into one of those losing streaks that have haunted them in the past.

They have some injuries to overcome, but this is a game the Lions should win.

The Lions are favored by 3.5.

My pick: Lions 34, Falcons 23.

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