Twentyman: Four Cardinals the Lions should concern themselves with

Posted Dec 12, 2012

After facing five teams in the thick of the playoff hunt the last five weeks, you’d think the 4-9 Cardinals are just what the doctor ordered for a Lions team looking to snap a five-game losing skid.

The Cardinals have dropped nine in a row after starting the season 4-0 and were completely embarrassed by Seattle last week, 58-0.

“The fact that they struggled, they lost a game, it’s more about us and us ending our losing streak than anything that’s happened to them or anything that they’re going through right now,” Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said earlier this week. “Nobody feels sorry for anybody in the NFL, I’m just telling you.”

The Lions are favored on the road this week and have the more talented team, but that was also the case Week 3 at Tennessee, and we all remember how that went.

It still comes down to playing good football in the desert to break the losing streak.

The Cardinals may be reeling, but they have some talent on their roster that include receiver Larry Fitzgerald and cornerback Patrick Peterson.

Here are four more names that aren’t household names, but whom the Lions need concern themselves with:

Linebacker Daryl Washington: Has 10 sacks over his past 14 games and is one of only two players in the NFL (Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews) with 14-plus sacks, three-plus interceptions and two-plus forced fumbles since 2011. Washington has seven sacks in his past seven games at home and leads the team with 108 tackles.

Receiver Andre Roberts: Has career highs in catches (53), yards (675) and touchdowns (5) this season playing opposite Larry Fitzgerald. He also has 100-plus yards or a touchdown in four of his past six games in the month of December.

Safety Kerry Rhodes: Despite their record, the Cardinals have the league’s No. 5 pass defense. Rhodes has three interceptions and a forced fumble over the team’s last four games.

Tight end Rob Housler: Is a big target at 6-foot-5, 250 pounds and has a team-best 19 catches over the last three games.