The Detroit Lions have the second best record in the NFC and a game lead in the NFC North. The Lions come in to this week with the 22nd ranked offense and the number one ranked defense in the league. The Lions rushing offense which is ranked 31st in the league will be going against the number 3 ranked rushing defense in the league. To be quite frank this matchup doesn’t concern me as much as it should. The Lions haven’t been able to run the ball all season. Last year’s lightening and thunder attack of Reggie Bush and Joique Bell are not getting it done in the ground game. Joique Bell leads the team with 357 rushing yards and Reggie Bush has 191 yards. The Lions have exactly one rush of over 20 yards by none other than Reggie Bush. Tight Ends Joseph Fauria and Eric Ebron are expected to return which adds more weapons for Stafford to throw too, which I think will open things up for Golden Tate and Megatron. I hesitate to say that Stafford is going to have a big game, because to be honest I expect to more heart in my throat football from these Lions.
The Arizona Cardinals come into this game with the best record in the NFC and a 2 game lead over the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West. The Cardinals have lost starting quarterback Carson Palmer for the rest of the season. Stanton appears to have a 2-1 record as a starter this year and has not been very accurate so far. Stanton so far has completed only 49.5% of his passes for 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. Stanton has a 3.2 TID. The Cardinals wide receivers have an average YAC of 4.9 this season. The Cardinals defense though is giving up a 5.6 YAC and the Lions wide receivers are posting a 5.5 YAC, and boasting the 30th ranked pass defense could be in for a very long day.
The key matchup in this game will be the Lions front seven versus the Cardinals offensive line. The Lions and Cardinals boast the number two and three running defenses respectively. The Cardinals running game is ranked 29th and the Lions 31st so to say that this game will be one dimensional for both teams is an understatement. There is no question that the Cardinals have dangerous receivers who can beat you, but so do the Lions as the 13th and 9th ranked passing games go head to head. If the Lions can get steady pressure on Stanton and force some turnovers, I think the Lions have enough to hold off the Cardinals.
Final Score: Detroit Lions 20 Arizona Cardinals 17