In the season opener, the Lions scored a nice home victory which is great and lovely, but only the start of things. Now, the Lions leave Detroit and head to Arizona to take on the Cardinals. The Cardinals were awful last year, but their offense was an atrocious mix of lackluster running backs, a porous offensive line, and a murderer's row of horrendous quarterbacks. Well, the team is better now, even if they ended up losing the season opener. This is one of the easier games on Detroit's schedule, but it still is not by any means easy. A win would be big for the Lions.
Even with their improved offense, the Cardinals' strength probably remains on defense. However, aside from Patrick Peterson, whose matchup with Calvin Johnson will be intriguing to watch, their secondary is a question mark. The issue is whether or not the Lions have anybody to take advantage of that. Nate Burleson was solid in week one, but he isn't special. Detroit's best receiver was Reggie Bush, who is a running back. Detroit is definitely going to be passing the ball a ton, because that is what Matthew Stafford does. He will have to do it without Jason Fox at right tackle, however. This is what happens when you make injury prone players starters.
Speaking of injuries, Reggie Bush is banged up, but he is probable for this game. Plus, everybody's favorite player Joique Bell is around just in case. Bush was huge last week, obviously, and I expect a bit of a step back for him. If he can still be good though, that would be huge, and that is definitely possible.
For the Lions when they are on defense, this is a very nice matchup for their potent defensive line. Nick Fairley is questionable, and hopefully he can play, because this line could have a huge game. Yes, Arizona upgraded their offensive line and their quarterback, but their line is still bad, and their quarterback is Carson Palmer. Palmer is decent, but he is not mobile. He got sacked several times last week against the Rams. That could happen again. Hopefully it does, because the Cardinals have a very good receiving corps, led by Larry Fitzgerald. Louis Delmas' status is also up in the air, but he is probable. The Lions need him.
Detroit managed to win last week despite some fluky things happening that didn't go their way. Bill Barnwell over at Grantland called it a "secret blowout" for the Lions. I don't expect a blowout, secret or otherwise this week. However, I do think the Lions get the road win. They have more talent, and their strength, pass rush, matches up well against Arizona's weakness, pass protection. I don't see a game with as many scores, upheld and overturned, as last week, but the result should be the same, which is good enough for Lions fans, I reckon. Final Prediction: Lions 20, Cardinals 14