The Cardinals beat the Lions 14-6. Making me all of 0-1 on this week and 7-3 on the season. I know I’m not picking against the spread but nonetheless in the ten games I’ve previewed I actually managed to compile a similar record to the current Lions record. With all that said this was a brutal game for the Lions. I said that the key to this game was the Lions front seven versus the Cardinals offensive line. The Lions front seven didn’t get the job done in this game. True the Lions forced Stanton to throw his first two interceptions of the season, but they didn’t get a single sack. The Lions defense got off to its usual slow start allowing the Cardinals to score two touchdowns before they decided to shut down the Cardinals offense. The Lions offense then got off to its usual slow start as well and never really got going as the Cardinals kept the Lions out of the endzone. This is the first loss the Lions can’t blame on an inept kicker by the way the Lions would be 8-2 if not for Alex Henery and his inept kicking. The Cardinals on the other hand sacked Matthew Stafford four times. The problem with this Lions defense is this they allow as many touchdowns as they get interceptions as their TID remains at 0. The Cardinals defense has a -0.2 TID, this is a game the Lions should have won. On the other hand Matthew Stafford had a TID of 1.4 and now has a TID of 1.1. Teams with a starting quarterback with a TID under 2.0 tend to lose games, and last season with a couple of exceptions every team with a starting quarterback with a TID under 2.0 had a losing record, this doesn’t bode well for the Lions, except one of the exceptions were the New York Jets who went 8-8 but had a top defense last year. So this isn’t over the Lions yet but Stafford has to get his TID up and so does the defense. Stanton came into the Lions game with a 3.2 TID which has dropped to a 2.4 TID and even though it was a wash as he threw two touchdowns vs two interceptions, the assertion the quarterback with the better TID wins holds. Both teams had two scoring drives, both teams played great defense, but on the offensive side of the ball, the Lions got beat. two touchdowns trumps two field goals every day of the week. The better team won it’s just that simple.
The Lions head to New England next week while the Cardinals head to Seattle. Last year the only team to beat Seattle at home was this Cardinals team, that isn’t to say that the Cardinals don’t have a tough game this week, but a game I expect them to win. The Lions on the other hand, I want to put my faith in this team and say that they can hang with the big boys and they can keep it close against the Patriots, but unless Bush and Bell can bring back the lightening and thunder act they had in the running game last year and take some pressure off of Matthew Stafford and the passing game, and help the Lions close games out, the Lions are not going to beat playoff bound teams.