Jared Goff, defense carry Lions past Falcons 20-6


Behind two total touchdowns by quarterback Jared Goff and a stout defensive effort, the Detroit Lions earned a 20-6 home victory over the visiting Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

Goff passed for 243 yards, while Lions wideout Amon-Ra St, Brown had a team-high nine receptions for 102 yards. Tight end Sam LaPorta added eight receptions for 84 yards and a touchdown.

Atlanta quarterback Desmond Ridder, under constant pressure from the Lions defense, completed 21 of 38 passes for 201 yards.

Falcons’ rookie tailback Bijan Robinson, the NFL’s second-leading rusher entering the game, was limited to 33 yards on 10 carries. He also added four receptions for 27 yards.

Goff connected with rookie tight end Sam LaPorta for a 45-yard touchdown pass early in the second quarter to give the Lions a 10-3 lead. With 9:50 remaining in the game, Goff added a 3-yard scoring run to put the Lions (2-1) up 20-3.

The Lions’ defense had seven sacks, with Aidan Hutchinson credited with two, and limited the Falcons’ rushing attack to 44 total yards.

A sack and forced fumble/recovery by Hutchinson on Atlanta’s final drive sealed the victory. Detroit defensive back Brian Branch had a team-high 11 tackles.

Jahmyr Gibbs started at running back for the Lions in place of the injured David Montgomery (thigh) and outrushed his rookie counterpart Robinson. Gibbs had 17 carries for 80 yards.

Falcons tight ends Kyle Pitts had five receptions for 41 yards, while Jonnu Smith had five catches for 37 yards.

Detroit jumped out to a 3-0 lead after Patterson capped an 11-play, 48-yard drive with a 37-yard field goal with 1:51 to go in the first quarter. It was the first points allowed in the opening quarter by Atlanta’s defense this season.

The Falcons (2-1) answered on their ensuing possession when kicker Younghoe Koo capped a 10-play, 45-yard drive with a 48-yard field goal.

After LaPorta’s second-quarter TD, the Lions drove to the Falcons’ 4-yard line on their next possession, but a holding call on tackle Penei Sewell on second-and-goal backed Detroit up to the 14-yard line and the Lions settled for a 24-yard field goal to increase their lead to 13-3 with 1:53 to play in the first half.

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