Gameballs: Lehman, Lions Defense Comes Up Big

Detroit's defensive coordinator Dick Jauron's masterful game plan kept Michael Vick (18-of-29 for 196 yards, 1 interception and 1 fumble) and the No. 1 rated Falcons rushing attack in check (96 total yards rushing) and harrassed the Falcons signal caller into two turnovers and four all totaled.

(ALLEN PARK) Basking in the glow of a 3-1 start, the Detroit Lions come home to an appreciative fan base overflowing with hope that Detroit could actually be a playoff team this season.

Detroit's defensive coordinator Dick Jauron's masterful game plan kept Michael Vick (18-of-29 for 196 yards, 1 interception and 1 fumble) and the No. 1 rated Falcons rushing attack in check (96 total yards rushing) and harrassed the Falcons signal caller into two turnovers and four all totaled.

In fact, the Lions beat the Falcons at their own game... turnovers. Atlanta came into the game ranked 3rd in the conference in giveaway/takeaway ratio at plus 3.

But it was the Lions who took the ball away from Atlanta four times while not giving it away at all.

Coming into this game Falcons' defensive end Patrick Kerney had been a disrupting force, leading the league with seven sacks, wreaking havoc in opposing offenses' back fields.

Kerney was contained by Lions offensive tackle Stockar McDougle who allowed Kerney just two tackles and one sack.

Meanwhile Shaun Rogers dominated the Falcons offensive line, pushing the offensive front back into the defensive backfield with partner Dan Wilkinson. Rogers efforts disrupted the Falcons rushing game, resulting in just 94 total yards rushing and just 44 yards on 18 carries for lead back Warrick Dunn.

Rogers also added two sacks to his effort.

It was nice to see oft-injured defensive end Kalimba Edwards get his first sack of the season, while super-rookie linebackers Alex Lewis and Teddy Lehman combined for 12 tackles (Lewis 5 tackles, 1 interception and 1 pass defense, Lehman 7 tackles and 1 pass defense) giving the Lions linebacking unit an infusion of speed, talent and production.

Detroit's defense keyed this win and with the injury to rookie wide receiver Roy Williams, the Lions will need a similar superior effort this Sunday when they host the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field.

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