ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — Long before their chances were finally extinguished by a replay review in the final seconds, the Detroit Lions trailed Atlanta by double digits and were in danger of falling behind by more. Then Detroit safety Glover Quin intercepted a pass and ran it back for a touchdown.
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — Long before their chances were finally extinguished by a replay review in the final seconds, the Detroit Lions trailed Atlanta by double digits and were in danger of falling behind by more.
Then Detroit safety Glover Quin intercepted a pass and ran it back for a touchdown.
It was that kind of day for the Lions, who took the defending NFC champions down to the wire last weekend, but struggled to stop the Falcons for most of the game.
Detroit forced enough turnovers to keep it close, but the 30-26 loss raised some questions about how good the Lions' defense really is.
Detroit forced four turnovers in a season-opening win over Arizona, then shut down the New York Giants on the road, but Atlanta looked comfortable running the ball and could have scored even more if not for three interceptions thrown by Matt Ryan — two of which were picked off after deflections.
The Falcons didn't have to punt a single time until the fourth quarter.
"We had some situations early in the game where we could have got off the field," Quin said. "We didn't do very well in second-and-longer down and distances. Kept getting into third-and-shorts and stuff like that."
The Detroit defense looked excellent on national television in a 24-10 win over the Giants, but last weekend, Atlanta's turnovers masked some problems for the Lions. Devonta Freeman ran for 106 yards, and the Falcons averaged 6.6 yards per play.
This week, Detroit will have to play on the road against Minnesota's Dalvin Cook, the NFL's second-leading rusher.
"He's got speed. He can catch the ball. Powerful. They're doing a good job spacing guys out where he's got creases to run in," Lions coach Jim Caldwell said.
"So, yeah, same kind of problems. You got to make certain you take care of your gaps and we have to tackle well. And that's really the thing that we've — first couple games, we did OK against pretty good backs and we got to get back to that, and it's not going to be easy."
The Lions were without rookie linebacker Jarrad Davis last weekend. The first-round draft pick missed the game because of a concussion, but he was on the practice field Wednesday.
Detroit has a plus-6 turnover margin, the best mark in the league so far, but the Lions are allowing 335.3 yards a game, a figure that puts them in the middle of the pack.
Detroit trailed 17-6 in the second quarter Sunday when Quin ran his interception back 37 yards for a touchdown. Darius Slay added two more interceptions in the second half, and the Lions finally forced Atlanta to punt on its final two possessions. Detroit nearly pulled out the victory on its last drive, but Golden Tate had a touchdown overturned by a replay review.
Those last couple of stands were better for the Lions defensively, but they needed more of that earlier in the game.
"We did a little better job stopping the run," Quin said. "We didn't stop the run enough in that game to make it difficult until the end."
NOTES: Davis was listed as limited in practice Wednesday. Also limited were Quin (knee), CB Jamal Agnew (pelvis), WR Kenny Golladay (hamstring), C Travis Swanson (ankle), S Tavon Wilson (shoulder) and DE Anthony Zettel (knee). DE Ziggy Ansah (knee), S Don Carey (knee), G T.J. Lang (leg) and RB Dwayne Washington (quadriceps) did not practice.
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