The Lions showed some resiliency last week in a convincing, 34-24, win a after a mistake-filled start.
They now hit the road, looking to get their first win in Arizona since 1993.
The Lions lead the all-time series 31-25-5 in a matchup that dates back to the 1930s when the teams ended their first contest in a 0-0 tie. Interestingly, Detroit's series with Arizona is the oldest in the history of the Lions.
Arizona won last year's game, 38-10, and has won the last four meetings.
A LOOK AT THE STATS
|Points per game||34.0 (3t)||24.0 (14t)|
|Total yards per game||469.0 (4)||390.0 (10)|
|Rushing yards||111 (9)||86.0 (16)|
|Passing yards||352.0 (4)||304.0 (10)|
|Points allowed||24.0 (11)||27.0 (20t)|
|Total yards allowed||330.0 (14)||366.0 (17)|
|Rushing yards allowed||105.0 (22)||67.0 (10)|
|Passing yards allowed||225.0 (13)||299.0 (21)|
|Turnover ratio||+2 (3t)||0 (13)|
BY THE NUMBERS
28: First downs recorded by the Lions offense in Week 1, which led the NFL.
186: The total amount of yards the Cardinals returned three Lions interceptions last year in a 38-10 win in Week 15.
9: The total number of turnovers and three-and-outs the Lions defense forced last week vs. Minnesota. That number is tied with Kansas City for the league lead.
Johnson had 10 catches for 121 yards last year against predominantly man coverage from the Cardinals. Johnson is expecting a lot of the same man coverage again this weekend and told reporters Thursday there will be "opportunities" to make plays.
Standing in his way of making those plays is likely to be one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL in Peterson, who has the perfect blend of size, speed and playmaking ability to make this a can't-miss matchup on Sunday.
"They're two great athletes," Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said. "Calvin is special and so is Patrick. We're going to put him in that situation (one-on-one).
"Some you can't always single-cover the guy, but you have to be able to mix-and-match it and pick your poison."
"He's strong," Burleson said. "He plays his hands well and he knows that. Some corners don't know how big they are and strong they are and how much of an advantage they really have. He knows he can knock receivers off balance with a couple jabs.
"And then, obviously, he has good speed, which is one thing you can't teach."
DE Ziggy Ansah/Willie Young vs. LT Levi Brown
Ansah and Young had to be licking their chops a little bit watching Robert Quinn abuse Cardinals left tackle Levi Brown over and over and over again last week. Quinn had three sacks and forced two fumbles against Brown.
Ansah recorded a half sack last week vs. Minnesota and nearly had another. Young was also close to corralling Christian Ponder a couple times.
Quinn (6-4, 265) is a similar kind of rusher as both Ansah (6-5, 276) and Young (6-4, 255) in that his game is predicated on speed and athleticism.
Larry Fitzgerald finally has someone to play in the sand with down in the desert. It's been a long time since the Cardinals had a quarterback who could consistently get him the football, not since Kurt Warner.
Carson Palmer proved he could do that last week. Fitzgerald, who has more touchdown catches than anyone in the NFL since 2007 (64), caught two last week in a loss to the Rams. He had just four all last season.
Expect Houston, the Lions' best cover corner, to follow Fitzgerald around the field for most of the day Sunday. The Lions put Houston on the opponents' best receiver a lot last year and had good results doing it.
One thing to keep an eye on: Fitzgerald was limited in practice Friday with a hamstring injury and was listed as questionable for the game on the Cardinals injury report Friday.
Lions ST vs. Cardinals ST
The Cardinals have one of the best punt returners in the game in Peterson and have blocked more field goals over the last five years than any other team in the NFL.
"You're talking about two very dynamic returners in Patrick Peterson and Javier Arenas," Lions special teams coordinator John Bonamego said. "They have a good core groups of special teams people. They are a 3-4 defense, so they have a lot of big-bodied linebackers. They get a lot of participation that way.
"They probably have two of the best gunners that we're going to face all year in Tyrann Mathieu and Justin Bethel.
"All parts of our game will have to be on point. We're going to have to execute at a very high level this week. This will be another big challenege for us."
PLAYERS TO WATCH: LIONS
Joe Fauria, TE
He's got a big frame and soft hands and he and quarterback
Fairley injured a shoulder in last week's game vs. Minnesota. He has a history of shoulder problems, so we should keep an eye on this and hope it's just a minor issue. He and
The Lions have a lot of confidence in Slay and the rookie will have a good test this week against Fitzgerald and receiver Michael Floyd. Palmer likes to push the ball down the field. Can Slay hold up?
PLAYERS TO WATCH: CARDINALS
Rashard Mendenhall, RB
Mendenhall is the north and south runner this offense needs. The Cardinals have the weapons on the outside and a quarterback who can get them the ball. They need Mendenhall to be the third piece to the puzzle on offense. The Lions did a great job bottling up Adrian Peterson after that first 78-yard run. Can they bottle Mendenhall up for an entire game?
Calais Campbell, DE
He's one of the top 3-4 ends in all of football and Lions left tackle
Carlos Dansby, LB
Dansby is back in Arizona after spending the last three seasons with Miami. He is one of only two active players (London Fletcher being the other) with 30-plus sacks (31.5) and 10-plus interceptions (11). He had 10 tackles, defended two passes, forced a fumble and recorded a quarterback hit last week in a loss to the Rams.