The Detroit Lions performance against the Arizona Cardinals during the 2012 season was a microcosm for the way the entire season played out. With what should have been a clear talent advantage over the opposition wasn’t apparent and the Lions dropped a stink bomb in the desert. So went the season.
The Lions get a chance to show things are different in 2013 with a week two matchup with the Cardinals in Arizona. To get a Cardinals perspective on preparations for the 2013 season, I got together with Scott Allen of Raising Zona. Here are my questions followed by his answers.
1. How would you assess the team’s offseason? Did they do what they needed to do through the draft and free agency?
The Arizona Cardinals have had a very busy and productive offseason. They may have picked up the stop-gap QB they needed for the next couple of years in Carson Palmer, while also obtaining Drew Stanton for possibly the future, although you can bank on them drafting a QB next May. They addressed the offensive line, their greatest need, in the draft. I think what they havve done so far has improved their win total by 3-4 games easily.
2. Which Rookie are you most excited to see play in 2013 and why?
WR Ryan Swope. He has Larry Fitzgerald-type leaping ability. I know the Cards are concerned about his health give his past however if he stays healthy, he could be a force for years.
3. What is the biggest question that still needs to be answered heading into training camp?
How will a new coaching staff jell with a lot of new faces on the roster? The Cards made some changes at virtually every position.
4. What are your expectations for the team in 2013?
Right now, I expect them to win 8-9 games. I know Palmer wasn’t everyone’s first choice for quarterback and honestly wasn’t mine right before the trade happened. However once it did and once he got here, he has said all the right things. He also has a coach who believes in him and is going to make him the starter now. No waffling or going back and forth. Palmer will bring consistency to the position in a quarterback driven league.
5. Right here, right now, are you marking down the game against the Lions as a win, loss or toss-up?
I say win. The Cards easily handled the Lions in Arizona at the end of last season. This season it is a week two visit to the desert. I won’t go out on a limb and say it will be a cakewalk because personally I think the Lions were the NFL’s biggest disappointment and underachiever in 2012. I see them improving significantly. I will take the Cards though since it will be the home opener.
For more on the Cardinals, head to Raising Zona.