The season was lost long ago for both of these teams. The Arizona Cardinals are one of the worst teams in the NFL. They have lost nine straight games and lost the only person that could lead the team to victory, QB Kevin Kolb. This team was blown out by the Seattle Seahawks 58 to zero in one of the most embarrassing losses in NFL history.
The Detroit Lions can’t seem to catch a break. They are not a bad football team, but they find knew ways to lose each week. Their pass attack is the best in the league averaging about 307 yards per game. The Lions have their own five game losing streak, but their losses were all within ten points. If the Lions lose this week I will be shocked.
If the Cardinals defense does not step up in this one it will get out of hand in a hurry. Last week, they gave up almost 500 hundreds yards of offense. The chances of that happening again are slim. The Cardinals say they are desperate for a win. Desperate teams can be dangerous, but it would take a huge team effort. Not just the defense. Lets take a look at the probable starting lineups and highlight three keys for each team.
Quarterback: Cardinals: Ryan Lindley
Running back: Beanie Wells (probable)
Fullback: Anthony Sherman
Tight End: Jeff King
Wide Receivers: Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Roberts (questionable)
Offensive line (from the left): Nate Potter, Daryn Colledge, Chris Wedige, Adam Snyder, Bobby Massie
Quarterback: Matthew Stafford
Running back: Mikel Leshoure
Fullback: Tony Scheffler
Tight end: Brandon Pettigrew (questionable)
Wide Receivers: Mike Thomas, Calvin Johnson (probable)
Offensive line (from the left) Jeff Backus, Rob Sims, Dominic Raiola, Stephen Peterman, Gosder Cherilus
Cardinals’ Defense (Base 3-4)
Defensive Line: DE Calais Campbell (questionable), DT Dan Williams, DE Darnell Dockett
Linebackers: OLB Quentin Groves, MLB Daryl Washington, MLB Paris Lenon (questionable), OLB Sam Acho
Cardinals: CB Patrick Peterson, CB William Gay, SS Adrian Wilson, FS Kerry Rhodes (questionable)
Lions’ Defense (Base 4-3)
Defensive Line: DE Cliff Avril, DT Nick Fairley (questionable), DT Ndamukong Suh, DE Kyle Vanden Bosch
Linebackers: WLB DeAndre Levy, MLB Stephen Tulloch, SLB Justin Durant
Secondary: CB Chris Houston (questionable), CB Jacob Lacey (probable), SS Don Carey (questionable), FS Louis Delmas (questionable)
Arizona’s Keys to the Game
The key to this game for the Cardinals will be eliminating distractions. Not saying Dockett is not allowed to attend a basketball game, but the media can destroy a young player’s confidence in a hurry. People are going to be saying a lot of bad things about the Cardinals. The fans are mad and with good reason. Nine games is a lot of weeks without a win. They need to shut out the boos and what the media will be saying and just play football.
Next, the Cardinals will once again start Ryan Lindley in hopes he will be able to spark the offense to do something. That means Beanie Wells will have run the ball better than the Cardinals have done all season long. Arizona needs to take as much pressure off the young QB as possible or he will repeat his past performances.
Finally, the Cardinals secondary is one of the best in the league. They will be going against WR Calvin Johnson and he is the best in the league. Peterson needs to shake off what happened last week in Seattle. Johnson is almost unstoppable, but they can contain him to under one hundred yards. If they can do that and cause Matthew Stafford to turn the ball over, the Cardinals will have a chance.
Detroit’s Keys to the Game
The Lions defense is going to give up some points, but if they keep it under 16 they will win this game. The Cardinals have the worst offense in the NFL. The defense needs to be able to stop this team. The secondary is a little banged up, so Ndamukong Suh will have to pressure Lindley, so the receivers do not have time to create any separation.
Next, Matthew Stafford needs to avoid interceptions at all costs. If he makes a bad throw the Cardinals’ defense will make him pay for it. He needs to not be afraid to take a sack and live another down. If he can do that, and avoid risky throws, Stafford should have no problem moving the ball down the field and getting enough points to win.
Finally, the special teams need to make big plays. Last week, the Cardinals fumbled the ball on multiple occasions and set the Seahawks up to blow them out. The Lions need to control the field position and keep the Cardinals deep in their own territory. Jason Hanson can’t miss kicks this week if the game is even remotely close.
The Cardinals are not going to win a game for the rest of the season. They do not have the personal after being decimated by injures all season. The Lions need to win this game to show the rest of the league that the Cardinals and Lions are on two totally different levels of terrible.
Prediction: The Cardinals disappoint the six fans that still think they can win. Cardinals 9, Lions 24
Follow Kase Brammer on Twitter @KBlive33