The Arizona Cardinals are coming off a tough loss to division rival Los Angeles on Monday Night Football. It was a defeat that dropped them from the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC to the No. 3 seed behind Green Bay and Tampa Bay. Cardinals head coach Cliff Kingsbury and his team will be looking to rebound Sunday in Detroit, and improve to 8-0 on the road this year.
Here's what the Cardinals are saying ahead of Sunday's matchup with the Lions:
1. Playing on Monday night means the Cardinals have a short week to prepare for a cross-country road trip to Detroit.
"Everybody deals with these short weeks," Kingsbury said Tuesday. "You try to get ahead the previous week knowing that (Tuesday) was going to move pretty quickly. Our staff was working on some Detroit stuff late last week to make sure we could get it to the players early and try to make the week resemble a short week as much as possible for them."
View photos of the starters for the Arizona Cardinals.
2. Kingsbury views Detroit as a team that plays hard, but just isn't getting the results. He said it jumps out on tape when watching the Lions just how hard they play, and said it's a credit to their coaching staff and the culture Dan Campbell is building in Detroit that they continue to fight and play as hard as they do despite the record. He said the Lions could definitely have a different looking record if the ball had bounced their way a few more times this season.
3. The Cardinals and Kingsbury haven't had much success over the years against quarterback Jared Goff, a fact pointed out by Kingsbury this week. Sure, that was with Goff playing in Los Angeles for a really good Rams team, but Kingsbury certainly has respect for Goff's ability.
"We haven't beat Jared Goff since I've been here," Kingsbury said. "I think he's a really talented quarterback, and he's building with that team, but he's played at a really high level at times with the new group around him."
4. Kicker Matt Prater was asked about his former team. He said he'll always be a Lion and a fan of the organization. He thinks the team is on the right path despite their record.
"I think they're close and have some good young pieces," he said. "They are a lot better than their record, for sure."
Asked about his best and worst memory playing at Ford Field, Prater said the worst was the Golden Tate clock runoff game against Atlanta a few years back. He said his best was playing on Thanksgiving and the tradition that comes with that, particularly the Thanksgiving game in 2016 against Minnesota when he kicked two late field goals to tie the game and win it in the final minutes.
View photos from Detroit Lions practice on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021.
5. Tight end Zach Ertz said one thing very similar between this Cardinals team and the Philadelphia team he was on that won the Super Bowl in 2017 is just how hard they practice during the week. He said both teams really competed hard against each other, and that come Sunday, it almost seemed easier.
6. Ertz said it's very evident watching Detroit on tape that they believe in their coaching staff, because if guys don't believe in their coaches, you typically see the energy level drop off later in the year when teams have nothing to play for. He said that's definitely not the case with Detroit on film. Ertz said it doesn't matter what the record is, when a team plays hard for 60 minutes, they're dangerous.