A one word description to sum up the Detroit Lions 34-24 week 1 triumph over the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field to open the 2013 regular season could be — Perseverance. You know, the continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition. There were many opportunities to revert back to the “same old Lions” in the Vikings game, but instead the boys in Honolulu Blue persevered and rose to the occasion to achieve a much needed divisional victory.
When the Lions face the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday, September 15, 2013 @ 4:05pm EDT they’ll have to do better than committing 11 foolish penalties for 88 yards, coughing up 2 costly turnovers, and just missing on those ever important touchdowns if they expect to get another win.
The Arizona Cardinals suffered a disappointing 3 point loss with 40 seconds to go in their season opening road game against the St. Louis Rams in week 1 after having an 11 point lead going into the 4th quarter. This is no pushover game for the Detroit Lions even though Cardinals LT Levi Brown gave up 3 sacks to Rams DE Robert Quinn and he will be facing a heavy dose of Lions prized rookie DE Ezekiel Ansah and high revving motor-city veteran DE Willie Young. Arizona’s Levi Brown has another long day in store for himself, as well as new Cardinals QB Carson Palmer and the rest of the Cardinals offensive line. Facing this fierce Detroit Lions defensive line unit is going to severely test every opponent they face for the rest of the season.
Against the Rams, Palmer went 26-of-40 passing for 327 yards, with 2 TDs, 1 INT, 2 fumbles (losing 1), while being sacked 4 times. The Lions stingy defense held Vikings QB Christian Ponder to 18-of-28 passing giving up 236 yards, 1TD, and had 3 INTs and 3 QB sacks. The Vikings have arguably the best RB in the game in Adrian Peterson which contributed to Ponder not throwing the ball as often as Palmer did against the Rams, but the Lions defense is doing a great job overall and appears to be primed for another big game against the Cardinals 10th ranked offense.
Lions QB Matthew Stafford is 28-of-43 for 357 yards and 2 TDs on the young season. He also has 1 INT and has been sacked once for -5 yards. Stafford will face the NFL’s 17th ranked defense in Arizona led by aggressive and very talented LBs and DBs. LB Karlos Dansby, LB Jasper Brinkley, LB John Abraham, CB Patrick Peterson, CB Javier Arenas, CB Jarred Powers, S Yeremiah Bell, S Rashad Johnson, and S Tyrann Mathieu accounted for most of the Cardinals defensive production in their first game and Lions WRs, TEs, and RBs will be in for another hard fought physical football contest in this one.
The Lions need to stay focused and disciplined to pull off back-to-back victories. Winning on the road in the NFL is hard enough by itself, but when you are the Detroit Lions (the NFL’s whipping boys); winning on the road is extremely difficult. When these two teams squared off in Arizona last season the Cardinals smoked the Lions 38-10 and penalties and turnovers played a big part in that humiliating loss.
What to Watch for
The biggest concern going into the Cardinals game is probably self control.
Will the Lions shoot themselves in the foot once again or will they finally grow up and become the same talented team on the field that they are on paper?
How will Lions DT Ndamukong Suh respond to his reported $100,000 fine for his unnecessary low block in the Vikings game? Will he become more passive? Will he become more aggressive and enraged? Will he learn to stop making stupid, stupid mistakes?
The Cardinals LT Levi Brown matchup against Lions DEs Ezekiel Ansah and Willie Young should be a favorable matchup for the Lions lengthy DE’s.
The Stafford to CJ connection. Many fans, myself included, complained that all QB Matthew Stafford can do is throw the ball to Calvin Johnson. Megatron the security blanket. Well after not a whole lot of CJ against the Vikings I sure would like to see more of him in this game. There will be two of the top WR in the NFL on display in Calvin Johnson and Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald.
Reggie! Reggie! Reggie! Very explosive and very exciting. Reggie Bush is a must watch player who is drawing comparisons to a former famous Lions RB.
The Lions offensive line had a week to gel, but RT Jason Fox injured his groin early against the Vikings. Will Fox be back in the lineup or will Corey Hilliard man the spot again? Will rookie OT LaAdrian Waddle be active?
Rookie TE Joseph Fauria had a TD and a…?…Awkward? TD celebration in his first NFL game. I am excited to see more of this young guy myself.
How does rookie CB Darius Slay respond to his benching in the Vikings game? Slay is super talented and is a very important piece of the Lions secondary. I look for a big game from Slay.
The most important thing to watch for in this week 2 showdown is another Lions WIN! Good teams win winnable games and the game in Arizona is winnable. The Lions are 5-9 against the Cardinals since 1990. It is time we start getting closer to evening things out and persevere. Go Lions!
Look for the Detroit Lions Recliner Report & Moore shortly after the conclusion of the game.
- Lions vs Vikings – Week 1 (thesilverdomeblues.com)
- Detroit Lions Recliner Report – Minnesota Vikings (thesilverdomeblues.com)
- The Detroit Lions After Week 1 (thesilverdomeblues.com)
- Ezekiel Ansah pleased with Detroit Lions debut, even though it came as a reserve (mlive.com)
- Lions win opener over Vikings, 34-24 (detroitlions.com)