Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/19/14
I should start by saying that by MNF, I really mean SNF. Saturday Night Football, that is. Saturday games are rare in the NFL, but with Christmas Eve falling on a Monday this year, the scheduling change was made and the Detroit Lions will battle with the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday instead. The game airs at 8:30p.m. on ESPN. For Lions fans who will be in attendance or watching on TV this Saturday, the Atlanta Falcons may be a welcome guest. At least they’ll get to see someone play good football. Detroit hasn’t played a full game of solid football in ages, although at times has shown why they went 10-6 and made the playoffs just a year ago.  Periods of good play have been outweighed by the periods of bad this year in Detroit, which has resulted in a 4-10 record. Meanwhile, the Falcons come to Ford Field leading the NFC at 12-2.  The NFC South already locked up, Atlanta needs just one more win to guarantee a first-round bye and home field advantage. The Falcons have been criticized by many for playing down to their competition, but they have two more wins than any other NFC team, and it’s the wins that everyone seems to keep track of. Wins do the talking in this league, and the Falcons have done exactly that.  The Falcons haven’t performed in the playoffs, true, but their past endeavors are exactly that.  One more win and the NFC Playoffs go through the Georgia Dome. Need I say more? The Falcons intercepted Drew Brees 5 times earlier in the year and will look to do the same to Stafford Everything about this game favors Atlanta.  The Falcons have a pass defense that has 18 INTs and allowed only 13 TDs that will aim to neutralize the pass-reliant Lions.  The Falcons were dismantling the Giants 34-0 last week while the Lions were getting blown out by the lowly Cardinals. The Falcons do everything well.  The Lions do everything wrong. But let me explain something that can give the glass-half-full person some hope for the Lions.  It’s called the high-low theory and it favors Detroit. The theory says that teams coming off a big win, like the one the Falcons got last week, are more susceptible to a letdown in the following game.  A team that got embarrassed in the previous week, however, is poised for a bounce back performance. According to this theory, the Lions are looking great! The theory is a bit of a stretch, but there is evidence to support it. Example: in week 14, the Falcons were dealt just their second loss of the season at the hands of the 5-9 Carolina Panthers.  And I’ve already covered what Atlanta did the following week against the Giants. In week 9, the Lions won by their widest margin of the season: a 31-14 win in Jacksonville.  They followed that performance with one of their worst of the year: a 24-34 loss to Minnesota that the Lions never had control of. Will the Lions’ horrifying loss in Arizona motivate them to play a full 60 minutes?  Will the Falcons show symptoms of a hangover after their convincing win against New York? Who knows.  Call this theory what you will, but there’s some reason why the spread is just 3.5 points. If all else fails, it’ll still be fun to watch Calvin Johnson chase history in the season’s final two games.  He needs 182 more yards to break Jerry Rice’s single-season receiving record set in 1995. Follow me on twitter @ScottPeceny Subscribe to email notifications here: Email notification form  
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Dekker changes his Twitter to painful memory

Five best quarterback situations in the NFL

MLB players want to trade lives with Tom Brady

WATCH: Ohio State dog urinates on Michigan fire hydrant

Gregg Marshall is staying at Wichita State

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Bengals troll Browns with April Fools’ Day joke

Malcolm Jenkins on McCoy trade: Could've gotten more

Does Romo restructure pave the way for Peterson?

Todd Gurley: 2015 NFL Draft Profile

Colts' Robert Mathis hopes to be back by training camp

LeBron thought Kyrie was a ballhog when season started

Gus Malzahn not happy about Michigan satellite camp

WATCH: Kaman pushes CP3 after shot to groin

Kelly Olynyk helps Celtics to win despite eye injury

Report: Boston mayor furious over Olympics rumors

Ravens commit tampering violation, show it on Twitter

Lightning won’t sell playoff tickets to non-Florida residents

Brad Stevens dismisses Texas rumor

Albert, Costas and Michaels to work together for the first time

A’s closer buying tickets to fill stands at LGBT Pride Night

13 U.S. senators call on FIFA to strip Russia of 2018 World Cup

The San Antonio Spurs are beautiful again

Auriemma blasts men’s college basketball: ‘The game is a joke’

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five best QB situations in the NFL

Dark horse Cy Young candidates

Final Four fact or fiction

Why WrestleMania 31 was an all-time great

Five worst QB situations in NFL

WATCH: Curry drops CP3 with crossover

Durant wants to spend career in OKC

This isn’t Tom Izzo’s greatest March masterpiece

Are the Angels being overlooked?

Top 20 players in the Final Four

Report: Tiger's plane spotted in Augusta

Moss shares story on meeting Deion

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.