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Sep 8, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) celebrates after catching a pass in the end zone for a touchdown in the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field. The play was ruled no touchdown after being reviewed. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Can the Arizona Cardinals Slow the Detroit Lions Offense?

The Detroit Lions threw the vanilla preseason offense out the window and busted out the rainbow sherbet in racking up 469 yards of total offense against the Minnesota Vikings.

It was great to see the offense come out and, by and large, play the way we expect them to play in moving up and down the field and putting points on the scoreboard. But the cautious side of me can’t help but think the Lions benefited from the element of surprise – at least to some degree.

Reggie Bush isn’t new to the league. He’s now in his eighth season and his NFL career has been a disappointment relative to the expectations brought on by a dynamic career at USC and being drafted second overall in 2006. But the Lions still saw him for what he still could be, and thanks to his stellar performance in week one, the rest of the league can see it too.

It was obvious the Vikings were intent on not getting beat by Calvin Johnson. In doing so, it gave Reggie Bush a lot of space to operate and he took advantage. We wouldn’t have seen the Lions dominate a game offensively a year ago with Calvin Johnson making just four catches for 37 yards.

The question becomes, is it possible to shut down Calvin Johnson and Reggie bush?

In searching the web for this morning’s Scanning the Savanna, I was somewhat amused to see the following headlines nearly side by side:

Arizona Cardinals’ priority against Detroit Lions is to limit Calvin Johnson


Arizona Cardinals gearing up to stop multidimensional weapon in Detroit Lions’ Reggie Bush

After just one week of regular season play I may be speaking too soon, but I can’t help but think, “good luck with that.”

The Cardinals ability to limit both players likely comes down to how successful Patrick Peterson is when asked to cover Megatron one-on-one. Bruce Arians has already said those situations will exist, although that isn’t what they plan to do all game long.

With what the Lions showed last week, it is hard to imagine a team shutting down the big plays, whether from Bush or Megatron, for 60 minutes. With a week of Lions game tape on Reggie Bush and the Cardinals keying on both offensive weapons this week, we’ll get a good look at just how good this Lions offense could be in 2013.

Tags: Calvin Johnson Detroit Lions Reggie Bush

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