Detroit (1-0, 0-0 away) at Arizona (0-1, 0-0 home)
Time: 4:05pm ET, September 15, 2013
Venue: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
The Arizona Cardinals are coming off a tough 27-24 loss last week against division foe St. Louis Rams. This week the Cardinals have an opportunity to redeem themselves in their home opener against the Detroit Lions who are fresh off a 34-24 win over the Minnesota Vikings.
Neither Larry Fitzgerald nor Calvin Johnson led their teams in receiving. Fitzgerald caught eight passes for 80 yards and two touchdowns. Johnson had four receptions for 37 yards. A key matchup will be the battle between Patrick Peterson and Calvin Johnson. Both players had quiet games in the first week with Peterson recording two tackles. According to Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic, Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said, “probably, in my opinion, the best corner in the league is going against the best receiver in the league. Do we want to leave him out there one-on-one all day? No. But that’s going to happen. He’s going to have to win his share of the battles.”
Carson Palmer and Reggie Bush both had impressive showings on their new squads. Palmer completed 26 of his 40 pass attempts for 327 yards and threw two touchdowns and one interception. Bush had 90 rushing yards and 101 receiving yards, leading the Lions in both categories. The former teammates at USC brought refreshing performances to their respective sides with Palmer throwing for the most yards since Kurt Warner and Bush’s performance was the best in individual yards since Barry Sanders.
Matthew Stafford also threw two touchdowns and an interception, and his 357 passing yards were tied for the fifth most in the league. On the other side the Dirty Birds defense tallied 56 tackles, five pass deflections and one interception by Dan Williams.
The Cardinals offensive line will look to protect Palmer better than did last week. Palmer was sacked four times and blind-side protector Levi Brown was responsible for three of them including one that led to a fumble. Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has not recorded any sacks or tackles yet, but he did receive a $100,00 fine for an illegal block against Vikings center John Sullivan.
Last year the Cards beat the Lions 38-10 ending the Birds nine game loosing streak in 2012. The Cardinals are 6-3 versus the Lions since 2001.