ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Jim Mora Jr. and Steve Mariucci are familiar with each other from their days with the San Francisco 49ers.
Mora, a former defensive coordinator under Mariucci with the 49ers, has the
off to their best start since 1986.
The Falcons aim for their first 5-0 start in club history Sunday when they host Mariucci's Lions at the Georgia Dome.
In San Francisco, Mora was the defensive coordinator under Mariucci from 1999-2002. The Niners made the playoffs in three of those seasons.
Mora's impact already has been felt in Atlanta, which ranks second in the NFL by allowing 12.3 points per game. The Falcons ranked last in the league in total defense last season.
had two more sacks and the Falcons forced three turnovers in last week's impressive 27-10 victory at Carolina. Kerney leads the NFL with seven sacks.
With the defense coming up big, the Falcons continue to win while
learns the West Coast offense. He has yet to complete 15 passes in a game this season.
Coming off their bye, the Lions are looking to win consecutive road games for the first time since capturing their first three road contests in 2000.
Detroit ended its NFL-record 24-game road losing streak in Week One with a 20-16 victory at Chicago. The Lions played their last two games at home and are coming off a 30-13 loss to Philadelphia.
Lions first-round pick
has two touchdown receptions in each of his last two games. He has 17 catches for 277 yards on the season.
Matchup to watch: Kerney against right tackle
, who struggled against
two weeks ago.
Series: Atlanta leads, 21-8.
Next week: Detroit hosts Green Bay, October 17 Atlanta hosts San Diego, October 17