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What we learned: Five things the Falcons' win over the Packers tells us with the Lions looming

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Falcons made a statement on Sunday night by defeating the Green Bay Packers 34-23 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

So what did we learn from Atlanta's impressive win as the team now prepares to hit the road and take on the Detroit Lions?


Here are five things the win over Green Bay (1-1) tells us as we look ahead to Week 3?

Falcons show they can convert in the red zone

After going 1-of-3 in the red zone in Week 1 against the Bears, Falcons coach Dan Quinn wanted to see better execution in that specific area.

"You know the amount of time we've spent in the red zone offensively and defensively," Quinn said following the win in Chicago. "I thought we could have executed better offensively down in the red zone."

He saw just that as the Falcons were a perfect 3-of-3 on Sunday night in the win over the Packers. All three of the touchdowns came from Atlanta's running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Freeman's two touchdowns were running plays while Coleman scored on a 3-yard pass from quarterback Matt Ryan.

Missed tackles no longer an issue

The Falcons pride themselves on being a sound tackling team, and in Chicago, they did not meet their standard. Atlanta finished with double-digit missed tackles against the Bears – something Quinn felt very strongly would be fixed in Week 2.

And it was.

"We were more secure in our tackling," Quinn said. "We weren't in the double digits with misses like we were the week before."

Offense feeds off Jones getting involved early

Matt Ryan's first two passes of the game were completions to his Pro Bowl wide receiver Julio Jones. On the opening scoring drive, Jones tallied 53 yards.

On one drive alone, Jones had almost the same amount of receiving yards as he did the week prior. In Week 1, Jones caught four passes for 66 yards.

Quinn hinted that he didn't expect Sunday night to be a quiet one for Jones, and it was not. Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian also talked about trying to find more ways to get the receiver more touches.

"He knows the ball is going to come his way," Sarkisian said. "I'd be foolish not to try to get him the ball."

Jones finished the night as Atlanta's leading receiver, catching five passes for 108 yards. Scoring on their first drive of the game appeared to set the tone – and Jones was a big reason why.

"I thought the first drive of the night was exactly how you want to start a football game," Ryan said.

When the Falcons' ground game is clicking and Jones is making plays down the field, Atlanta's offense presents multiple challenges for opponents to try and defend.

Jones even joked after the game that when he gets the ball early, he knows it's going to be a good night.

And it certainly was for the Falcons.

Schraeder hard to replace, but Falcons have confidence in Sambrailo

Atlanta lost Ryan Schraeder for the game on the opening drive when he left the field with a concussion.

Recently acquired tackle, Ty Sambrailo, filled in for Schraeder at right tackle for the remained of the contest. The Falcons traded their fifth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft to the Denver Broncos for Sambrailo following the final preseason contest.

The Falcons' offense went the entire 2016 season with the same starting five offensive linemen, so not only is Wes Schweitzer a new addition, the unit will have to adjust with Sambrailo in the lineup if Schraeder is unable to go on Sunday against the Lions.

Quinn is confident in Sambrailo and is optimistic about how he'll play moving forward with more comfort along the line.

"I continue to think he's going to keep improving the more reps he has with the guys. We're anticipating a good week from him."

Campbell could become Atlanta's X-factor in the pass rush

De'Vondre Campbell recorded his first career sack on Aaron Rodgers, a moment he'll likely remember forever.

After his rookie year, Quinn wanted to get Campbell more involved in the pass rush. So this offseason, Campbell dedicated his time to improving his pass rushing skills. He had the physical skillset to do so, he just needed the specific training. Campbell worked with the defensive linemen at various parts of practice during training camp.

"It was an area that we thought he could really improve because of his speed and his length," Quinn said of the decision to feature Campbell as a pass rusher. "[He has] really long arms, really fast get-off. He was the one that really put the time in. It's great to see how much work he's put in pay off. He'll certainly be a factor for us in that way moving forward."

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