Sunday

Preview and Prediction for Detroit Lions vs Arizona Cardinals

Safeties Louis Delmas and Glover Quin cannot let anyone get behind them. The Cardinal now have a strong-armed quarterback, Carson Palmer, that can launch bombs to wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Malcolm Floyd, blowing the top off of defenses and picking up huge chunks of yardage.And we've already witnessed the "coverage prowess" of the Lions cornerbacks. Considering Joe Simpson abused both Chris Houston and Darius Slay, the responsibility of stopping Fitzgerald on the deep ball will be shifted primarily to the safeties.The defensive linemen and linebackers as a whole tackled well against the ever-dangerous Peterson. In fact, they combined for only one missed tackle while the defensive backs whiffed on five.I realize how fundamental this sounds, but the successful tackling was due to solid, basic form. They weren't head heading like Delmas, whose head-down, arms-tucked approach does more harm than good.Anyways, the front seven must continue to play fundamentally sound football. Securing those tackles will force more obvious passing situations and the extra yards necessary to convert a first down will create deeper dropbacks. As will be explained later, all of this plays right into Detroit's hands.It would be easy to say, "run the ball well," but it's even simpler than that.The Lions just need to stick with the running game, regardless of the success rate.The reasons for this strategy are simple.First, keeping the ball out of the air will limit the opportunities for Tyrann Mathieu and Patrick Peterson to create turnovers. Granted, Mathieu has a fumble-forcing fetish going back to his college days, but Detroit's running backs, especially Joique Bell, secure the ball well.Next, the threat of the run opens up the passing lanes for quarterback Matthew Stafford and the tight ends.Arizona's linebackers will be taking a step forward to meet Detroit's backs at the line of scrimmage because of last week's decent running effort. Then, after the play fake, those linebackers will have trouble recovering since none of them are named Daryl Washington.That's when they'll watch a side-armed ball soar just over their heads and drop down in front of the safety where Brandon Pettigrew, Tony Scheffler or Joseph Fauria will be waiting.Just like Bush last week, don't look past the obvious-this game will be decided in the trenches.And that bodes well for the Lions.The Cards struggled mightily against defensive end Robert Quinn and the St. Louis Rams last week, giving up four sacks. Arizona could luck out and Nick Fairley's shoulder could force him to sit this one out.But that won't be enough to save them.Offseason acquisition C.J. Mosley can fill in for a week without too huge of a drop-off. Plus, defensive ends Jason Jones and Israel Idonije are more than capable of rotating inside and providing some pressure.And we've already seen defensive end Willie Young bring it from the outside. If Ezekiel Ansah charges off the ball on passing downs instead of standing up to look into the backfield, Palmer will be picking himself up more often than he would like.Both teams are going to sprint out of the tunnel and continue running up and down the field like it's a basketball game. However, the Lions ability to sustain drives with their running backs and the defensive line's ability to force Palmer into uncomfortable throws will prove too much.



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