DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 23: John Abraham #55 of the Atlanta Falcons sacks quarterback Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions during the first quarter of the NFL game at Ford Field on October 23, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Lions Vs. Falcons: Detroit Falls To 5-2 With 23-16 Loss

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Lions Vs. Falcons Final Score: Atlanta Hands Detroit 2nd Straight Loss, 23-16

Whelp, the Detroit Lions falling behind going into the second half came back to bite them this week against the Atlanta Falcons. Despite outscoring the Falcons 10-6 in the second half, the Lions' 17-6 halftime deficit was too much today, as the Lions dropped their second straight game by a score of 23-16. 

Of course, the Lions had plenty of opportunities in the second half to take the lead or tie, but too many mistakes down the stretch proved costly. 

The Lions started the fourth quarter by going three-and-out on their first two possessions. In between, the Falcons were bailed out on their first possession when Louis Delmas was called for holding, canceling the Falcons' failed fourth and two that would've given the ball back to the Lions down 20-16. Instead, it allowed the Falcons to continue their drive, take time off the clock, and ultimately add three more points.

The Lions' third and final possession of the fourth quarter started on their own 13 yard line. They were moving the ball fairly well, but a holding penalty negated a 17 yard passing play to Tony Scheffler and Nate Burleson dropped a wide open pass on the final set of downs. 

Even with the drop and holding penalty, it looked like the Lions were going to have a first down at the Falcons' 26 yard line thanks to a pass interference on the Falcons, but it was reviewed and overturned because the ball was tipped prior to Scheffler being interfered with. By rule, once the ball is tipped, Scheffler is allowed to be hit, so instead of first down at the Falcons' 26, the Lions faced fourth down at the 41 yard line. Not surprisingly, fourth down broke down pretty early, as most of the Lions' offensive plays did today, Stafford scrambled to his left and threw across his body to Brandon Pettigrew, who couldn't coral it in. 

To boot, a Falcons defender fell on Stafford's right leg awkwardly and Stafford was seen limping pretty badly off of the field.

The Lions did have a chance to get the ball back with about a minute remaining, but horrible tackling on Jacquizz Rodgers on a third-and-four allowed him to stumble forward for the first down. Matty Ice iced the rest by taking a knee.

The Lions had 263 total yards of offense and were just 1-for-12 on third down conversions. Matthew Stafford was 15-of-32 for 183 yards and a touchdown, good for a 75.4 passing rating. Calvin Johnson had five catches for 115 yards and a touchdown.


Matthew Stafford Injury: Lions QB Hurt In Loss To Falcons

As bad as the Detroit Lions' loss to the Atlanta Falcons was, the more worrisome thing going forward is what happened on the Lions' final offensive play of the game. On fourth down, Matthew Stafford scrambled out to the left to avoid the pressure and had his leg rolled on after he went down. It's unclear if he injured his ankle, foot or knee, but Stafford limped off the field.

The Lions didn't get the ball back, so it's not clear if he would have been able to return or not. While the Falcons were running out the clock, though, Stafford was being looked at by trainers. It looked like they might have been taping his ankle, which appeared to be rolled on by a Falcons defender. Stafford is reportedly going to get an X-ray to see what exactly is wrong.

It's obviously much too early to speculate about his status for next week, but it's worth noting the Lions play a 2-4 Denver Broncos team before having a bye week. If this is something minor but the Lions don't want to risk playing Stafford next week, they might be able to get away with keeping him out until after the bye week.


Lions Vs. Falcons: Jahvid Best, Willie Young Among Inactives

The Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons have announced their inactives for Sunday's game. For the Lions, guys like Jahvid Best and Rashied Davis, who were doubtful to play, are inactive. Julio Jones is inactive for the Falcons, but that is no surprise, either.

Here's the full list:

Detroit Lions

QB Drew Stanton

RB Jahvid Best

WR Rashied Davis

TE Joe Jon Finley

OT Jason Fox

DE Willie Young

S Vincent Fuller

Atlanta Falcons

WR Julio Jones

OT Sam Baker

C Brett Romberg

DE Cliff Matthews

DT Carlton Powell

CB Chris Owens

CB Darrin Walls

The one surprise for the Lions is Young. He wasn't on the injury report until Friday, when he was limited in practice because of a calf injury. Nobody was really expecting him to miss Sunday's game, but he is out because of the injury. Although this isn't an enormous loss considering how deep the Lions are on the D-line, Young has played well this season and has become a regular in the rotation, so other players will have to step it up in his absence.

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