The Lions (0-2) pissed away another double-digit lead, laying down just like the lovable losers we all know. They came out looking eager to prove that the previous game was an anomaly and would not be the norm. Evidently, they forgot that football is a game comprised of four quarters.
It felt like watching Will Patton as Coach Bill Yoast during his “Not Another Yard” speech from Remember the Titans. I doubt the Lions will “remember, forever, the night they played the [Packers],” but it was a similar whooping.
Our Detroit Lions preview for Week 3 comes with little optimism. They travel to the desert where they have won only once in the last 25 years. The Arizona Cardinals enter the game with a 2-0 record, and have surrendered only 35 points to opposing offenses through two weeks. Despite Kenny Golladay returning, they are not in a position to challenge this stout defense.
The Cardinals have scored 54 points on offense, and it still doesn’t seem like they have hit their stride offensively yet. They played a very good San Francisco defense and put up 24 points, then a greatly-underrated Washington defense. This game appears to be another blowout waiting to happen.
DETROIT LIONS OFFENSE
The Lions skill position players should be at full strength this week with the expected return of Kenny Golladay. While I believe this will be a boost for the offense, it is also something that will unlikely affect change in the outcome of the game. The Cardinals defense boasts one the best pass rushers in the league in Chandler Jones. Jones is complemented by an active and aggressive front-seven, along with one of the better safeties in the league in Budda Baker.
The Lions may have an opportunity to attack the Cardinals defense through the air with Marvin Jones, Jr. and Golladay. Patrick Peterson has been one of the better corners of this generation but he is no longer the same player at age 30, and Dre Kirkpatrick is a nice player but should not create a major issue for the Lions wide receivers. I am aware that the Cardinals are among the best in the league through two games at shutting down wide receivers. However, they were shredded by “Scary” Terry McLaurin last week. Not a single pass-catcher from their first two games is the caliber of Golladay. Additionally, George Kittle was on his way to a fine day in Week 1 prior to a knee injury. T.J. Hockenson should still provide a mismatch with whomever is assigned to him.
The Lions will need to be excellent in the passing game this week if they want to upset the upstart Cardinals.
DETROIT LIONS DEFENSE
Repeat after me: “this is going to be ugly.” It is likely to be a recurring theme. Just check here.
There truly is not much to say with regard to the Lions defense vs. the Cardinals offense. They are simply on different levels. Now, I’m not implying that Arizona will hang 40+ points up but Detroit is a sieve. It is possible.
Arizona puts out arguably the best set of skill position players in the NFL, with an offensive scheme that is meant to exploit weaknesses, and a lack of depth with its up-tempo and relentless pace.
Injuries, coupled with poor coaching and just an overall lack of talent, will be on full display this week for this unit.
DETROIT LIONS SPECIAL TEAMS/COACHING
Matt Prater will always be a bright spot for this team. He did look human last week, missing a kick inside 60 yards — no one is perfect though, right? Regardless, this unit has been decent through two games and should continue to be so this week.
Matt Patricia and staff versus Kliff Kingsbury and staff: there is no question who is David and who is Goliath — and I’m not indicating that this Biblical reference will come true again. Kingsbury has seemingly turned the worst team in the league from 2018, into a potential divisional front-runner in only a single season. They look crisp, focused, and lethal on both sides of the ball through two games, which is a recipe for disaster for the Lions. The Detroit coaching staff has proven they do not have the football acumen to make proper in-game adjustments. This will be on full display on Sunday.
I was a fair bit off in my prediction of the score last week. However, I feel vindicated because no one could have predicted that the Lions would be fielding a JV squad.
This one should be more fruitful from a fantasy perspective with the return of Golladay, but ultimately, I expect a similar outcome. Arizona wins going away, 34-23. In other words, this will be another tough game to watch.
(Featured Image Credit: DetroitLions.com)