GLENDALE, Ariz — It feels like yesterday that the Detroit Lions were last in State Farm Stadium. It was just over a year ago, and it was the first game of the Kliff Kingsbury/Kyler Murray era.
The Lions jumped on the Cardinals early and often, getting out to a double-digit lead and things quickly looked bleak for Kingsbury and Murray. However, an impressive second half comeback brought the Cardinals back to even and the game would finish in a tie in overtime.
Now, it's the Lions who will be playing on their heels as they try to get their first victory of the year in a matchup with the red-hot Cardinals.
Detroit's defense comes in allowing a league-worst 204 rushing yards per game and on Sunday, that could very well continue to be a problem for Detroit as Kyler Murray has been running often and running well.
Through two games, the Cardinals have averaged 170 rushing yards per game. Murray has 158 yards on the ground and three touchdowns while running back Kenyan Drake has also been productive to start the year.
Additionally, we're seeing exactly what Steve Keim envisioned when he traded for wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins this past offseason. Lots of receptions, lots of yards and a great connection between young quarterback and superstar-level receiver.
Through two games, Hopkins has 22 catches for 219 yards and a touchdown. The Lions no longer have Darius Slay, and are set to be without lead cornerback Desmond Trufant for a second-straight week due to injury. So not only is the Lions rush defense a problem, so is the pass defense without Trufant.
With Christian Kirk set to be out due to injury, it may make the load easier to handle for Detroit's depleted secondary. However, Hopkins will remain a problem for any defense and we saw Andy Isabella make a long catch last Sunday, he should step up into Kirk's role.
The Lions are expected to have star receiver Kenny Golladay for the first time this year, but it's not known how much he'll play, dealing with a hamstring injury. He'll make the Lions offense much, much better.
The Cardinals still are not allowing general public fans, however 750 family members/friends of players and others in the organization will be in attendance for the game.
MATCHUP: Detroit Lions (0-2) at Arizona Cardinals (2-0)
LOCATION: State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
KICKOFF: 1:25 p.m. Arizona time
SPREAD: Cardinals -5.5
The Cardinals offense is going to be too much for Detroit. It would be very surprising to me if the Cardinals were held under 30 points. If Kyler Murray is smart with the ball, the offense should be able to move down the field at-will. The Lions will score some points, but it's not going to be enough. Expect a convincing win for Arizona to move to 3-0 on the year.
Arizona Cardinals 38, Detroit Lions 23