The Detroit Lions now face the Cardinals again, their Week 1 opponent from 2019
The Detroit Lions‘ upcoming matchup against the up-and-coming Arizona Cardinals is a chance to break the Pride’s two-game losing skid. The Lions will travel south to take on the undefeated Cards at State Farm Stadium in the desert of Glendale, Arizona this Sunday.
As we preview the Week Three contest, let’s take a look at the history between these two teams, their previous matchup, what fans should look out for, how the Lions can actually win, and a prediction of the game’s outcome.
The Lions and Cardinals have played each other a total of 67 times. The Lions hold the advantage with a 33-28-6 record. They have played each other each year in the previous decade except for 2010, 2011, and 2016.
These two teams faced off for their season openers last year where they tied 27-27. The Lions had a 24-6 lead going into the fourth quarter but the Cardinals came back to tie it up.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for 385 yards and three touchdowns. Wide receiver Danny Amendola had a big game where he caught seven passes for 104 yards and a touchdown. He wasn’t the only Lion to have a big game though as tight end T.J. Hockenson made his NFL debut where he caught six passes for 131 yards and a touchdown. He had the most receiving yards for a tight end in an NFL debut.
On the defensive side of the ball, safety Tracy Walker caught an interception and led all Lions players with nine tackles, all of them being solo.
For the Cardinals, quarterback Kyler Murray threw for 308 yards and two touchdowns. Running back David Johnson rushed for 82 yards and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald caught eight passes for 113 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, linebacker Jordan Hicks registered 14 tackles.
What to watch for
Kyler Murray. How will he run the offense? Will he heavily target wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins or spread out his passes to all his wideouts? How much will he run the ball himself which he tends to do? Will running backs Kenyan Drake and Chase Edmonds be big factors this game?
Last year against the Cardinals, Hockenson had the best game of his career. Will he do well again against the Cardinals or was that just one good game for him? If the Lions gain a lead, can they at least hold onto it? Can the Lions stop the run game after giving up 168 yards to Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones last week?
Keys to the game/What the Lions need to do to win the game
The Lions will have to figure out how Murray will be operating. They need to figure this out early on in the game in regards to how much of a use Hopkins will be to the Cardinals quarterback.
The defense will also need to play tight and a lot better than last week as the Cardinals have strong attacks on the ground and in the air.
This isn’t the same Cardinals team as last year. They traded for Hopkins and now have Drake on their roster which neither was a part of the team during Week 1 of the 2019 season. Murray has emerged as a young, dynamic quarterback in the league and is a threat both with his arm and his speed.
As the Lions defense is still shaky as we saw last week, there’s no chance they’re stopping Murray and the Cardinals unless a miracle happens. After getting their third straight loss of the season, cries to fire head coach Matt Patricia will only grow louder.