Every week during the regular season, the opposing head coach and sometimes a player speak to the Detroit media via conference call. This week it was only Falcons head coach Dan Quinn on the conference call, but we perused atlantafalcons.com to see what else Falcons players were saying about Sunday's showdown between undefeated teams.
So, what did they have to say about this week's matchup?
View photos of the starters for the Atlanta Falcons.
1. When asked what stood out to him about the Lions' defense on tape, Quinn said it was their ability to rush the passer with their defensive line, and then how fundamentally sharp they are tackling. Detroit has tackled very well these first two weeks, and are credited with a combined 32 quarterback hurries from Pro Football Focus.
2. Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant said the biggest job for his secondary this week is limiting Detroit's big plays and "cheap" deep balls. The Falcons have taken notice of Stafford's ability to scramble in the pocket, keep plays alive and then take shots down the field.
3. Speaking of Stafford's ability to extend plays, Quinn said that was one of the big differences between "The Matt's" as he put it, meaning Stafford and his quarterback, Matt Ryan. He said both quarterbacks were talented, experienced and accurate, but that Stafford can probably make more plays with his legs than Ryan can. That's a part of Stafford's game that is obviously being noticed around the league.
4. Quinn said one of the difficulties in game planning against the Lions is that on any given week someone different can step up for them in the passing game. The Lions don't have a true No. 1 receiver like Atlanta does with Julio Jones. We've already seen that play out in the first two weeks of the season. Week 1 it was Golden Tate and Kenny Golladay. Week 2 it was Marvin Jones Jr. and Eric Ebron.
5. Atlanta center Alex Mack is expecting a tough game in the trenches Sunday. He thinks Detroit's defensive tackles do a good job of penetrating, and they "cause a lot of problems." Watching tape of the Lions' defense, Mack said Detroit's linebackers also do a good job playing downhill, and the secondary does a good job covering behind it all.
6. Atlanta will be without talented pass rusher Vic Beasley on Sunday due to injury. Beasley had two sacks in two games, and Quinn says his defense will miss his speed more than anything. He did say, however, that they are more equipped to handle the loss than in years past because of the depth they have along their defensive line behind Beasley with Brooks Reed, Takk McKinley, Adrian Clayborn and Derrick Shelby
7. There aren't any really big philosophical changes with Steve Sarkisian taking over as offensive coordinator in Atltanta this year. The Falcons had one of the top offenses in the NFL last season, so Quinn said they wanted to stay with what they were doing from a system standpoint. Quinn did say that Sarkisian brought some fresh eyes, and they've added some different packages to the offense this season.
8. Mack says the Falcons are planning for an extremely loud atmosphere Sunday at Ford Field.
"We're certainly concerned about the crowd noise and we're going to do what we need to do," he said.