Matt Ryan was nearly perfect against the Minnesota Vikings (1-5) as he helped the Atlanta Falcons (1-5) earn their first win of the season. Ryan earned NFC Player of the Week honors for his production in Week 6. As the Falcons look to continue to build momentum, they'll have to replicate a similar performance against the Detroit Lions (2-3) who are coming off a win as well.
Lions' defense better than what numbers show
The Lions haven't played particularly well on defense so far this season. Detroit ranks No. 29 against the run, No. 21 in yards allowed per game and No. 30 in sacks. They've been sufficient against the pass, though. First-round pick cornerback Jeff Okudah has been playing better recently and safety Duron Harmon has two interceptions.
Defensive end Trey Flowers leads the way up front for the Lions with two sacks and two forced fumbles.
"They are big and strong and sound in what they do," Ryan said. "They try and not be out of position, I think they have some young players in the secondary, some young guys that are improving and getting better. I think they are a defense that has improved as the year has gone on. They look better than what their stats have shown."
Keep feeding Todd Gurley
Ryan has been impressed with his new running back thus far. Gurley ranks eighth in the NFL in rushing yards with 422 on 99 carries and five touchdowns. He's continued to improve as the season has gone on and he has the Falcons' rushing attack trending in the right direction.
"I think he's done a nice job for us; I think he's getting more and more comfortable in our scheme and how we're using him," Ryan said. "I think his production is only going to continue to go up."
The Falcons rank No. 14 in rushing offense through six games, a significant improvement from 2019.
Quarterbacks Matt Ryan and Matt Stafford may compete on the field, but they have a strong friendship when the cleats come off.