As the search for the Detroit Lions' first win of the season continues, they host the impressive Arizona Cardinals this Sunday. Chances for a Lionns win look pretty dire, but let's look a little closer at this Cardinals team to see what the Lions are up against.
Arizona Cardinals (3-1)
Schedule so far:
Week 1 - vs. Saints - won, 31-19
Week 2 - at Bears - won, 48-23
Week 3 - vs. 49ers - won, 47-7
Week 4 - vs. Rams - lost, 22-24
Reason for optimism:
The Cardinals have looked like one of the best teams in the NFL through four weeks. But look at that schedule. Their three wins came against three 1-3 teams, and Arizona has had three home games through four weeks. Hardly an impressive resume.
Additionally, it looks like DeAndre Levy will be finally returning this week. It comes at a good time, as the Cardinals have a dynamic offense through four games and Levy should improve both Detroit's run and pass defense.
Reason for pessimism:
Again, I'm going to try to keep this brief. Arizona has looked very good on both sides of the ball. Carson Palmer is back and healthy and has given the Cardinals offense a new spark. Palmer ranks eighth among all NFL quarterbacks with a passer rating of 106.4 and is fourth in passing yards. Arizona is averaging 37 points a game. And I haven't even starting talking about their defense, which is still one of the best in the league.
Arizona is one of the most well-rounded teams and present a pretty poor matchup for the Lions. The Cardinals have defeated the Lions in six straight games dating back to 2006.
Storyline to watch:
For the Lions, the question remains: Will the offense ever get any better? The answer is almost certainly no, but at some point the Lions have to try something different. Detroit started bringing in a sixth lineman during Monday's game, so maybe we'll see another new wrinkle this week. Also, Levy's return should bring about some minor excitement.
The Cardinals just have to make sure that they don't go on a losing slide here. The NFC West remains a very competitive division. And now that the Seahawks are starting to figure some things out and the Rams have already notched two division wins, the Cardinals can't afford to drop an NFC game against a team in free-fall. Also, Calvin Johnson vs. Patrick Peterson is always fun.