Opponent: Arizona Cardinals
Location: Ford Field
Week/Date: Week 15, Sunday Dec. 19 at 1:00 p.m.
TV/radio: FOX/97.1 FM
Livestream: Detroit Lions Mobile App
Previous matchup: Sept. 27, 2020: The visiting Lions beat the Cardinals 26-23 on a last-second field goal.
Why this game matters: If this game follows the prediction for both teams -- the Cardinals contending in the NFC West, the Lions building in the NFC North -- this game will be important to both teams for different reasons.
Beating the Cardinals at Ford Field in the role of spoiler would give the Lions help finishing the season strong. After this they play the Falcons and Seahawks on the road and finish up at home against the Packers. For the Cardinals, every game counts if they're in the playoff race.
Over the years, we've seen some memorable things happen in games just like this one. It's why they play the games. – Mike O'Hara
Crucial matchup: Cardinals QB Kyler Murray vs. Lions DC Aaron Glenn.
Murray has become one of the most explosive weapons in the game with his dynamic playmaking ability both in the pass and run game. Usually when teams have been successful against Murray, they've been able to keep him in the pocket for the most part, and make him one-dimensional.
This is always the kind of matchup defensive coordinators love to prepare for because players like Murray really challenge a defense at all three levels. – Tim Twentyman
Rookie watch: Rookie offensive tackle Penei Sewell's learning curve will continue to move along late in the season, and it will accelerate going against Cardinals veteran defensive end J.J. Watt.
Watt isn't the same player he was when at his prime in the 10 seasons he spent with the Houston Texans. But in a given game, and on a given play, he can still be a load to handle for any offensive lineman. This matchup will help measure Sewell's development.
The battle in the trenches is always intriguing. Sewell is sure to be in the spotlight going against Watt. – Mike O'Hara