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Cardinals at Lions preview

By Imperical Evidence

Ok , to look at these teams we need to see some stats first.

Arizona Cardinals
PTS 23.5 (11th)
YDS 352.0 (14th)
PASS YDS 258.6 (7th)
RUSH YDS 93.4 (27th)

PTS 19.8 (13th)
YDS 359.8 (25th)
PASS YDS 248.6 (28th)
RUSH YDS 111.2 (18th)

Key Players -
RB Chris Beanie Wells
RB Tim Hightower
WR Anquan Boldin
WR Steve Breaston
WR Larry Fitzgerald
QB Kurt Warner

Detroit Lions
PTS 16.1 (27th)
YDS 297.2 (26th)
PASS YDS 201.8 (20th)
RUSH YDS 95.5 (26th)

PTS 31.2 (32nd)
YDS 400.5 (32nd)
PASS YDS 272.1 (32nd)
RUSH YDS 128.4 (24th)

Key Players -
QB Drew Stanton
QB Duante Culpepper
WR Calvin Johnson
LT Jeff Backus
RB Maurice Morris
RB Aaron Brown
S Louis delmas
MLB Larry Foote

Quarterbacks -
Matthew Stafford isn't expected to play for the Lions against the Cardinals. Maybe Martin Mayhew and Jim Schwartz have learned their lesson in trying to hurry Stafford back from an injury behind by most accounts a weak offensive line. The big question then becomes who will start for the Lions? I somehow expect Daunte Culpepper to get another start despite a miserable showing against the Baltimore Ravens. The Lions managed only 3 points on offense and Culpepper under threw receivers on several passing routes. I would like to see Drew Stanton get a shot at starting his first NFL game in his third year as a Lion but I don't see that happening with Schwartz still proclaiming Culpepper as the #2 quarterback on the team. I don't think Culpepper will be with the Detroit Lions next year unless they are desperate enough to offer him another contract and he takes a pay-cut. Drew Stanton will be a Lion next year because lets face it , the free agent market will be very dry and the Lions would have to draft another quarterback if they were to release him. So why not give Drew Stanton the start Mr. Mayhew? I would say Schwartz here but I think Martin Mayhew has some say in who plays and when. I think Culpepper should have been pulled from the game last game but for some nearly insane reason (Mr. Mayhew), he wasn't. So in short, if Culpepper gets the start the offense might struggle again. If Drew Stanton gets a start (finally) , maybe the offense can do something. Drew Stanton also adds the threat of a running quarterback, maybe the Lions need to see what that can do on the field with an offensive line as bad as the one they have. If the threat of a running QB can draw a safety up into the box Calvin Johnson might be able to get open on some deep routes. Of course, Calvin Johnson might also sit this game out and did not practice Thursday. He remains a questionmark.

On the other side of the ball Kurt Warner will get the start for the Arizona Cardinals. I think that most Lions fans know that he can and will throw the ball around the yard. Going against the Lions secondary might also be the cure one week after his horrible performance against the 49ers. The Lions secondary will have more than they can handle trying to cover Anquan Boldin, Steve Breaston, and Larry Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald also had a poor showing against the 49ers and this game might be just what the doctor ordered for him.

The Lions need to somehow stop the running game and the passing game of the Cardinals at the same time. There is a bit of good news here, the Cardinals running backs have been prone to fumble the ball this year. If the Lions can generate some turnovers and get their offense going this game might be a closer game than people think. Of course, we're talking about the Lions here, and Louis Delmas needs to be healthy for this game because he is one of the Lions best hitters on defense. If Delmas can't play, the majority of the heavy hitting will fall on Larry Foote. Delmas didn't practice on Thursday and his status for the game is still up in the air. The Cardinals don't run the ball a lot but they might do very well on the few running plays they call.

The Lions will be lacking the starting running back in this game. Kevin Smith is out for the rest of the season with a torn up knee. That means Maurice Morris and Aaron Brown need to step up. Time to play football and earn that check guys. Aaron Brown will need to pick up the blitz when he is in the backfield for the Lions and he has struggled so far this year. Maurice Morris just hasn't played that much this year but has been a very solid backup running back in the past with the Seahawks. All in all I just don't know what to expect with this running game. The offensive line will determine how well the Lions run the ball in the end, so I don't expect a lot.

Offense versus defense the Cardinals have given up a lot of passing yards and are better against the run. I don't think that matters much if Daunte Culpepper starts at quarterback for the Lions. The Lions will also struggle running the ball. The Lions defense will once again get abused badly by the passing attack of the cardinals.

Cover your eyes Lions fans, this might not be a fun game to watch unless Kurt Warner is still throwing bad passes and the Cardinals running backs are fumble-prone.

If the Lions build the offensive and defensive lines they might win some games some day.

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