Opposing View: Kent Somers on the Lions-Cardinals matchup

Posted Dec 15, 2012

This week's opposing view comes from Kent Somers, beat writer for Somers has been on the beat since the mid-1990s. You can follow him on Twitter at @kentsomers.

This week's opposing view comes from Kent Somers, beat writer for Somers has been on the beat since the mid-1990s. You can follow him on Twitter at @kentsomers.

1. The frustrating part about losing five-straight games for the Lions is that it hasn't been just one area that's let them down. Has there been a common thread for the Cardinals during their current nine-game skid?

In general, it's been the offense. Specifically, it's been poor quarterback play. Kevin Kolb had thrown for eight touchdowns and three interceptions when he suffered a rib injury in week six. His replacements, John Skelton and Ryan Lindley, have thrown for just two touchdowns and 14 interceptions. The Cardinals haven't scored a touchdown in the last two weeks and they haven't passed for one in the last four games. They have been terrible on third-down and they can't get the ball to their best player, receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

2. Do Cardinals coaches have enough confidence in CB Patrick Peterson to try him one-on-one with Calvin Johnson, or will the Cardinals secondary attack him with multiple defenders like everyone else?

My guess is they will play Peterson one-on-one at times but not the whole game. Peterson usually takes on the best receiver and he's done a good job this year. He has six interceptions. But I think the Cardinals will use a variety of coverages against Johnson. They respect what he and Stafford can do. The Cardinals pass defense has been very good most of the season, partly because they bring pressure from a variety of places.

3. What does rookie QB Ryan Lindley bring to the table? Is he a pocket QB? Is he mobile?

He's a pocket quarterback and hasn't shown much mobility. He has a strong arm and is pretty smart. He struggles with accuracy and obviously has just not played that much. The team doesn't have much of a running game, something that would help Lindley out.

4. The Cardinals defense has continued to play relatively well through the losing streak. The offense, though, has struggled. Is there any fracturing going on or finger pointing?

Oddly, the only disgruntlement has come from the defense. End Darnell Dockett was fined in excess of $100,000 last week because of an argument with safety Kerry Rhodes. Dockett didn't like the team's strategy of letting the Jets score late, even though it was the only realistic way they were going to get the ball back. Rhodes tried to calm Dockett but the two got into verbal argument and Dockett allegedly spit in Rhodes' direction. There haven't been any reports of rifts between offense and defense.

5. What is the frustration level for WR Larry Fitzgerald on a scale of 1-10.

I imagine it's 10 but Fitzgerald isn't going to tell anyone that. He says all the right things but this has to be eating at him. He's going to have his worst statistical season (when he's been healthy). He's been held to one catch four times this season. From 2005 through 2011, that happened once. He gets open but never has an elite receiver been missed so badly so often.