Last week’s loss was a tough one for Lions fans to swallow. They were outplayed offensively all night. Their defense is the only reason they were even in the game in Seattle, yet with just a few minutes left of the game and in the red zone, Matthew Stafford delivered the ball to the best player on the offensive side of the field and he was 6 inches away from delivering a Detroit lead before he fumbled. Heartbreaking loss, but they have to rebound this week if they want to avoid talk from fans about getting a top 10 draft pick. Can they turn things around in Arizona?
- Detroit Lions Offensive Line vs. Arizona Cardinals Defensive Line – The Arizona Cardinals have a pretty good defensive line. While the Lions offensive line looked better against the Seahawks allowing no sacks, they were far from good enough. Arizona’s defense dominated last year’s match up and I do not expect much different from a unit featuring Calais Campbell. Edge Cardinals
- Detroit Lions Tight Ends vs. Arizona Cardinals Linebackers – The Cardinals have Kevin Minter, Alex Okafor, and Lamarr Woodley facing a battered Lions tight end group. With Eric Ebron out and Brandon Pettigrew returning from injury, expect less receiving and more blocking from the tight end group. Edge Cardinals
- Detroit Lions Wide Receivers vs. Arizona Cardinals Secondary – Tyrann Mathieu, Patrick Peterson, and Deone Bucannon lead a secondary that held Detroit to 6 points last year, both of them field goals. They are a magnificent secondary that can play with the best teams out there. The Lions with a more dynamic system on offense would still be hard to stop, but since they’ve focused on limiting turnovers, the offense has gone stagnant. Calvin Johnson has been relegated to possession receiver and Golden Tate has been a non-factor all season. Against a weaker defense I could see the Lions rebounding on offense. This is not that week though. Edge Cardinals
- Detroit Lions Running Backs vs. Arizona Cardinals Run Defense – Detroit has a talented young runner in Ameer Abdullah, but the problem is that they cannot seem to open holes to run through. Until that changes, I do not see the Lions run game being a difference maker. Edge Cardinals
- Detroit Lions Quarterbacks vs. Arizona Cardinals Pass Defense – Matthew Stafford played well enough last week to not turn the ball over. That did not matter though as he could not seem to get the offense going until the last drive of the game. Until he plays more like the 2011 Stafford, he will not get the edge against even average defenses. Edge Cardinals
- Detroit Lions Defensive Line vs. Arizona Cardinals Offensive Line – The Detroit defensive line made ajor improvements against the Seahawks banging up Russell Wilson to the tune of 6 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. Had Wilson been less mobile, the Lions may have had more sacks. The Cardinals have some solid offensive lineman which means the defensive line may be in for a tough one this week. After last week though, it is hard not to believe the Lions line will not make a difference this week. Edge Lions
- Detroit Lions Linebackers vs. Arizona Cardinals Tight Ends – For the first time this season, I am excited about this match up. DeAndre Levy is back. Josh Bynes has proven his worth and he will be a backup this week. With how well the Lions played Jimmy Graham last week, I have no doubt that two tight ends in Jermaine Gresham and Darren Fells will struggle against Levy and the Lions. Edge Lions
- Detroit Lions Secondary vs. Arizona Cardinals Wide Receivers – This right here is the difference maker match up. The Lions secondary is beat up. They are not great to begin with, but with Darius Slay banged up and James Ihedigbo questionable this week, the Cardinals receivers led by Larry Fitzgerald should dominate. Edge Cardinals
- Detroit Lions Run Defense vs. Arizona Cardinals Running Backs – The Cardinals have some solid running backs. Without the Vikings game, the Detroit Lions run defense has done a pretty good job of holding teams down. The problem is, the Cardinal passing attack is good enough that the Lions cannot load up to stop the run. This makes for an interesting match up. Can Chris Johnson break loose against the Lions as he did at the end of the Jets game last week? Edge Lions
- Detroit Lions Pass Defense vs. Arizona Cardinals Quarterbacks – The Lions pass defense against Carson Palmer is a bad combination. Historically, Palmer has played well against the Lions. Last year when the Lions lost to the Cardinals, Palmer was hurt but their offense still put up good numbers against the Lions. Edge Cardinals
- Detroit Lions Special Teams vs. Arizona Cardinals Special Teams – David Johnson has a return touchdown already this season for the Cardinals and Patrick Peterson is very dangerous. The Lions do not have a dynamic returner. TJ Jones is the current punt returner and Ameer Abdullah has been better than Jeremy Ross but less than dynamic. Edge Cardinals
Lions 3 Cardinals 7
The numbers do not lie. Unfortunately this is not the week that the Lions break out and get their first win of the season. They are not as bad as their record indicates, but the schedule they were dealt makes it very difficult for them to look like a playoff team. Unless home field advantage has a bigger affect on the game than it has so far this season, the Lions fall to 0-5.
Detroit 9 Arizona 24