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To help better get to know the Detroit Lions' next opponent, we asked Manager/Editor-in-Chief of the Arizona Cardinals blog Revenge of the Birds, Jess Root, five questions about the team.
1) The Arizona Cardinals have won three games against 1-3 teams and lost to an inconsistent Rams team, is there any concern the team is not as good as advertised?
Well, outside of Arizona, there was the concerns bout how the team had not faced anyone worth anything through three weeks. Then those whispers got a little louder when the offense couldn't do much against the Rams, the first real defense. However, against the Rams, the Cards beat themselves. The Rams played a perfect game for them, but it was mistakes the Cardinals made that beat themselves and they still were a catch and a kick away from a win. At first they looked unbeatable. Now they look less than that. So...maybe?
2) Carson Palmer looks 10 years younger and has the Cardinals' offense looking like one of the best in the league, what has been the secret to his success this season?
Palmer is healthy, stronger, has another year under his belt in the offense and has a better offensive line. That has been key. The offense has been very good. The running game is quietly there, as the team has rushed for over 110 yards every single game this season. That threat of a run game has opened things up.
3) The Cardinals have been a running back by committee sort of team this season, but are currently battling through injuries. Who should we expect to see on Sunday and what sort of running style do they bring?
Expect Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington, with a couple of plays to David Johnson. Everyone is now healthy. I expect Johnson to start and to be the main guy, but Ellington will get plenty of time.
4) Are there any vulnerabilities in the Cardinals' defense or is it as good as ever?
They still have no real pass rush threat. That is the issue. They hold up well against the run and cover well down the field. If you can dink and dunk enough, you can get down the field. They key is to get a big play here or there, which isn't easy. But with little pass rush, if any of the coverage falters, then it becomes possible for those big plays.
5) Is this the year Arizona makes a Super Bowl run?
Well, we hope so. That is the talk coming from the locker room. Last year we felt like it was, only to have it wasted on Ryan Lindley (who, I should note, beat the Lions in 2012 without even throwing for a touchdown). With Green Bay looking good and Seattle laying in wait it appears, they probably aren't the favorites, but they should definitely be in the mix for a playoff run, as long as Palmer stays healthy.