A matchup between the Detroit Lions and Arizona Cardinals will give one team a 5-9 record, while the losing team will drop to 4-10 and move up in the NFL Draft order. The key to the game could come down to twenty points.
Twenty points, that’s all the Lions need to score to have a good chance of beating the Cardinals, who have lost nine straight games. In all nine of those losses, the Cardinals have failed to score twenty points or more. In fact, four of the nine games saw the Cardinals fail to hit double digits on the scoreboard. Last week’s game saw the Cardinals lose in one of the NFL’s most lopsided games ever, with a 58-0 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
The Lions will look to attack early and put up points like they did last week in Green Bay against the Packers. The team took a 14-0 lead and failed to score a touchdown again, instead settling for two field goals.
Detroit continues to have the number one passing offense in the league, led by the Matthew Stafford to Calvin Johnson combo. The Lions, who have been short at receiver depth, got good and bad news last week. The team lost tight end Brandon Pettigrew to an injury and is likely to be without their second leading receiver in yards and catches against the Cardinals. However, the Lions saw newly signed practice squad member Kris Durham emerge as a potential number two receiver. Durham had four catches, including a one-handed grab that made it around the internet pretty fast. The connection between Durham and Stafford looked just like old times, as the two were roommates and teammates at Georgia.
The Lions, who average 308 passing yards per game, will hope to shut up Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson. The Cardinals rank fifth in passing defense, giving up only 197 yards in the air each week. Part of this is from Peterson, who has taken to the internet to talk trash about Johnson and call him out as the number two receiver in the league.
Look for Johnson to put up big numbers to quiet his rival and also stay on pace for a NFL record. Johnson is chasing Jerry Rice’s single season receiving yards record of 1848. Johnson needs 101 yards Sunday to stay on pace of the 303 yards needed to surpass Rice.
For the Cardinals, John Skelton starts at quarterback, despite a four interception and one fumble lost game against the Seahawks. The Cardinals lost starting quarterback Kevin Kolb to the IR list with a rib injury. The Cardinals rank 28th in passing and 32nd in rushing, setting up an opportunity for the Lions to break their losing streak and put up a lot of points on the board.
Arizona lost bad last week and will be looking to take revenge on the Lions. However, a team that has not scored 20 points in nine straight matchups should easily be put away by the Lions, and their high powered offense.