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The Arizona Cardinals began the year as one of the biggest surprises of the season, starting with a 4-0 record. The Cardinals picked up two signature wins against the New England Patriots on the road and at home against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Arizona is fast and furious on defense, especially in their back seven.
They are surrounded with playmakers like safeties Kerry Rhodes and Adrian Wilson. Linebacker Daryl Washington has been a force in the middle with 68 tackles and eight sacks. Cornerback Patrick Peterson is a well-rounded player with great cover skills and the ability to tackle in the open field.
The matchup of Peterson vs. Calvin Johnson will be a joy to watch.
On offense, the Cardinals have been quite stagnant, ranking near last in every statistic.
Losing running back Ryan Williams to injury was a significant loss, plus the constant switch at quarterback has hindered the Cardinals' continuity. Larry Fitzgerald is still one of the best receivers in the league, but can be shut down with defensive pressure.
Quarterbacks Kevin Kolb and John Skelton have been sacked a league-high 39 times and hit 59 times.
The Lions have struggled containing explosive special teams' units.
Life doesn't get easier when they face Peterson, who also excels in the return game. If he can set the Cardinals up with solid field position or put points on the board, the Lions will be in trouble.
Detroit's defensive line should be able tee off against the Cardinals. If the Lions can create havoc and turnovers with an efficient offensive game, they should leave Arizona with a victory.
Detroit 21 Arizona 17