Prepare for a nailbiter, as the Detroit Lions opened as slight 2.5-point favorites over the Arizona Cardinals in their Week 14 matchup at University of Phoenix Stadium. Kickoff is set for 4:25pm EST on December 9th.
The Lions are averaging just 21.2 points per game (23rd). But they could easily remedy this if they’d just stop turning the ball over. Detroit has committed 18 turnovers this season (24th), which includes two last week against the Rams.
Misguided Matthew Stafford passes have been the cause of an intolerable 11 of those giveaways. The rest have come from the team putting the ball on the dirt. Reducing the costly errors needs to be the main focus for Stafford and the Lions moving forward.
It’s quite easy to see why Detroit is struggling this year: not only do they have issues scoring points, but they cannot stop others from scoring. The Lions surrender 26.3 points per game, which ranks 26th in the league. They’ll need one of these units to overachieve a little on Sunday to get the win.
Fortunately, Detroit’s defense avoids any sort of offensive juggernaut this week, when they line up across from the Cardinals. Arizona is scoring just 14.6 points per game, which is the fewest in the league.
When you can’t move the football, finding your way into the endzone is quite the task. Josh Rosen and company are learning this lesson firsthand this season. They rank 31st in rushing, managing a meager 86.0 rushing yards per game, and 32nd in passing, only tossing for 153.3 yards per game.
Rosen shouldn’t take all the blame, but he has certainly played his role. He only has 1,670 yards through the air with a 10:11 touchdown to interception ratio. Rosen would benefit from a little help from David Johnson (761 rushing yards this season) and the Cardinals’ rushing attack that has been a joke, though. In order for Arizona to get a win, at least one of these two will need to start making a lot more plays.
The Cardinals defense has simply not been good this season. They’re allowing an unacceptable 25.8 PPG (23rd), and the main cause is the 220.4 passing yards per game they surrender (4th). There’s no one to blame for this other than their secondary. Arizona’s pass-rushers have done their job pretty well, averaging 3.2 sacks per game (4th in the NFL). You can bet Detroit will be looking to the throwing arm of Matthew Stafford in Week 14.
The last meeting between these two came on September 10th, 2017, when Detroit surprised the Cardinals 35-23. The Cardinals were 2.5-point favorites in that game.