Week 3 Preview: Detroit Lions vs. Arizona Cardinalsby Ethan Hewette September 26, 2020 1 comment
Heading out to Glendale, AZ is the Detroit Lions (0-2) to take on the Arizona Cardinals (2-0). The last time these teams met, nobody walked away from the game a winner as it ended in a tie. This game features two teams heading in opposite directions. The Lions have suffered two divisional losses to start this season. In contrast, the Cardinals have looked red hot through the first couple of weeks. The Lions’ defense looks to redeem themselves and slow down Kyler Murray and his explosive offense in week 3.
The Cardinals are serious contenders in the NFC this year. For the most part, the team has avoided the injury bug, and coach Kliff Kingsbury is taking advantage of the weapons at his disposal. Newly acquired wideout DeAndre Hopkins led the team with eight receptions, 68 yards, and a touchdown last week. Hopkins now has a Cardinals team record with 22 catches through the first two weeks. Murray leads the team in both passing and rushing yards with 516 passing and 158 rushing and totaled 308 passing yards the last time these teams met. The combination of Murray and running back Kenyan Drake gives Arizona a top-five rushing offense.
Defensively, the Cardinals have shown dramatic improvement from last season. Pass rusher Chandler Jones has been dominant through the first two weeks, and since 2016, he leads the NFL with 61 sacks. Linebackers De’Vondre Campbell and Jordan Hicks combined for 20 tackles last week against the Washington Football Team with ten a-piece. Campbell also had two tackles for loss and passes defended. In the secondary, Patrick Peterson has played reliable coverage, and safety Budda Baker has been a tackling machine with 20 through two weeks.
Detroit has had quite the opposite season of that of Arizona. The offense has been tolerable this season, which has led to a close loss in week one and a blowout loss in week two. Matthew Stafford has performed adequately, including last week, where he passed for 244 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. Long-time veteran Adrian Peterson currently leads the team in rushing with 134 yards. Second-year tight end T.J. Hockenson leads the team in receiving yards with 118 on nine receptions and will hope to replicate his performance from the last time these teams met.
The defense for the Lions has been dreadful so far this season. They have allowed 69 points scored against them through two weeks and have not forced a single turnover. The only other team to not have done so is the Houston Texans. Jamie Collins and Trey Flowers are the only ones who have gotten a sack, and the team currently has the sixth most missed tackles in the NFL. Right now, the only bright spot is that rookie cornerback Jeff Okudah made his debut last week and led the team with seven tackles.
Start time: 1:25 P.M. PST
Location: Glendale, AZ
Stadium: State Farm Stadium
TV Info: FOX
Betting Odds Sponsored by Jazz Sportsbook
Point Spread: DET +5.5 (-110) | ARZ -5.5 (-110)
Moneyline: DET +205 | ARZ -255
Over/Under: O 55.5 (-110)｜U 55.5 (-110)
This game isn’t going to be close, which is why bettors should take Arizona at plus 5.5 as they will easily win this game by at least a touchdown with how Detroit’s defense has been playing. An over/under of 55.5 would generally be a very high mark for two teams to reach. However, Murray and this offense will run all over Detroit and find themselves in the endzone a lot, which is why bettors should feel comfortable taking the over in this game. Detroit has a better offense than some think, so they will manage to put up at least 20 points.
The Cardinals will run away with this one early as Murray will pick apart the secondary while using his legs to generate a lot of yardage for Arizona. However, the Cardinals will be without wideout Christian Kirk. Peterson will see some success on the ground for Detroit. However, Stafford will struggle to stay away from the pressure and force him into uncharacteristic mistakes, even with wideout Kenny Golladay returning this week. Arizona wins this one by a landslide.
Final Score: Detroit 20, Arizona 38
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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images