Arizona Cardinals vs Detroit Lions: Preview, prediction

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The Arizona Cardinals pay their first of two road games at Ford Field against the winless Detroit Lions.

The Arizona Cardinals travel to Detroit for an NFC showdown with the Detroit Lions. The Lions (0-4) lost on a controversial call to the Seattle Seahawks 13-10. On the other hand, the Arizona Cardinals (3-1) lost a tough divisional match up against the St. Louis Rams, 24-22.

History: The Cardinals and the Lions have faced each other 63 times in the regular season, with the Cardinals playing 9 of these games as the St. Louis Cardinals and 38 of these as the Chicago Cardinals. The Arizona Cardinals have an all time 27-31-5 record against the St. Louis Rams. The latest win against the Lions came in Week 11 of last season. The Arizona Cardinals won by a score of 14-6 in a game where back up quarterback Drew Stanton and Michael Floyd connected twice for the only touchdowns of the game.

What: Arizona Cardinals at Detroit Lions

Where: Ford Field, Detroit, MI

When: 1:05 PM Arizona Time (1:05 PM EST)


Radio: Arizona Sports 98.7 FM

Keys to victory:

The biggest surprise coming out of last week’s game against the Rams was the offense’s inability to score touchdowns, with most of the red zone trips only resulting in touchdowns. I don’t expect this to be a problem in this game, as the Lions defense is not what it used to be. Carson Palmer should have less trouble than he did last week in directing the team to the end zone, and should have a nice bounce back game.

The offensive line will need to do a better job in protecting Carson Palmer than it has in the past two weeks. In the first three games of the season the offensive line had only surrendered 1 sack, they allowed Palmer to get sacked 3 times alone last week. The Lions pass rush isn’t as formidable as it used to be, and will allow the offensive line to mesh some more and build up chemistry.

It will be interesting to see how head coach Bruce Arians handles the running back situation. Ellington is technically the starter, but Chris Johnson has stepped up during Ellington’s absence. While Ellington will still be the starter, since Arians doesn’t believe that a player should lose his job because of injury, he will most likely be eased into action and Chris Johnson will still be used heavily. Rookie David Johnson will see his workload increase more and more, and should rebound on special teams after last week’s fumble on the opening kickoff.