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MAROTH4MVP

Sept 10, Cardinals @ Lions, 1pm est, Fox

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Matthew Stafford agreed to the richest contract in NFL history last week. He'll start earning some of that money in the season opener Sunday at Ford Field against one of the league's premier defenses.

The Detroit Lions quarterback, who received a five-year, $135 million extension, faces an Arizona defense that has given him fits in the past. The Cardinals have won their last seven games against the Lions, a streak that dates to 2006.

Stafford was benched after throwing three interceptions in a 42-17 home loss to the Cardinals two seasons ago, the last time the teams met.

Arizona allowed the second-fewest yards and topped the league with 48 sacks last season.

"They're unique in their scheme," Stafford said. "The guys in the secondary, they're ballhawks out there. No. 21 (cornerback Patrick Peterson) and 32 (free safety Tyrann Mathieu) have done it for years and some of the other guys that are new to the team or their role are playing really well, too.

"And then they have guys who can really rush the passer up front. So they do a really nice job. Traditionally, they've been a very good defense and I don't expect to see anything different."

The Lions reshuffled their line during the offseason to provide better protection for Stafford and open more holes in the running game. They signed right tackle Rick Wagner and right guard T.J. Lang during free agency, then traded with the Los Angeles Rams for left tackle Greg Robinson when Taylor Decker suffered a shoulder injury during minicamp.

Ameer Abdullah returns as the starting running back after playing only two games last season because of a foot injury. Pass-catching specialist Theo Riddick, who was limited to 10 games because of wrist injuries, will back him up.

"When we're healthy, we're obviously better," Stafford said of the running game. "Those two guys are a big part of what we do, as are most backs in this league.

"We have talented guys that can take a handoff and go the distance and make people look pretty foolish trying to cover them in the pass game, too. The more those guys can touch the ball and we can get them in space, the better."

Stafford engineered a series of fourth-quarter comebacks last season that allowed the Lions to reach the postseason as a wild card. Seattle made their postseason stay a short one.

The Cardinals came into last season as one of the favorites to reach the Super Bowl but didn't qualify for the postseason, finishing at 7-8-1.

Arizona got off to a 1/3 start last season and plays its first two games on the road this year. It heads to Indianapolis next weekend.

"We've got to get off to a good start," Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said. "There's no excuses about 10 a.m. (Pacific time start) and all that (nonsense). We all know the schedule. So yeah, we've got to get off to a good start and we've got to get off to a good start in those games. You don't want to get behind on the road in a domed stadium, for sure."

Carson Palmer is back behind center, but the Cardinals' biggest weapon is running back and fantasy football darling David Johnson. He scored a combined 20 touchdowns a year ago while rushing for 1,239 yards and catching 80 passes for an additional 879 yards.

"I've always said, he's the closest thing I've been around to Marshall Faulk," Arians said. "Marshall could start at wide receiver and probably on defense as a safety or corner. They're very smart guys. If a guy isn't real smart, you overload him to where he can't play fast if you put a bunch of things on his plate. Obviously, David's very bright and it's good to see Andre (Ellington) back healthy because he can do a lot of things like that, too."

Ageless Larry Fitzgerald remains Palmer's top target.

Defensively, the Cardinals will be without linebacker Deone Bucannon, who underwent offseason ankle surgery. Rookie Haasan Reddick is expected to start in his place. Defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche is dealing with a calf injury.

Detroit's top pass rusher, Ezekiel Ansah, is expected to play despite missing the preseason with a knee injury. Rookie wide receiver Kenny Golladay has been limited in practice with an ankle issue but is also expected to play.

http://www.espn.com/nfl/preview/_/gameId/400951576

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Lions vs. Cardinals - Week 1 Injury Report

Detroit Lions

Pos. Name Injury WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY Status
DE Ezekiel Ansah knee LP  LP    
WR Kenny Golladay ankle LP  LP    
T Corey Robinson foot LP  LP    
RB Zach Zenner back LP  FP    

 

Arizona Cardinals

Pos. Name Injury WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY Status
 LB Deone Bucannon ankle NP  NP    
 G Mike Iupati tricep LP  LP    
 DL Robert Nkemdiche calf NP  LP    
 WR Larry Fitzgerald not injury related NP FP    
 QB Carson Palmer not injury related NP FP

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7 minutes ago, MAROTH4MVP said:

If the LIons can limit David Johnson they have a decent shot at winning, if not it will be a long game.

i'm hoping for something similar to the end of last season. bend but don't break defense (they really can't do anything else), just hope the opposing team makes some mistakes, and then let the offense win the game.

Could be a step forward for the offense. Is Riddick healthy? He and Abdullah will be a good combo if they are healthy and Riddick didn't get old. And another year in a scheme that seems to suit Matthew.

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Really nice Q&A with Tion Green here - seems like a pretty level headed kid.

 

Q&A: Tion Green dishes on living with Detroit's RBs, Chipotle, and his momma

 

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Plus, these frickin' guys take such good care of me that I don't have to buy nothin' my man. They literally take turns taking care of me. I stay at Zach (Zenner's) house one day, I was at Theo (Riddick's) last night, I go to Ameer (Abdullah's) today, I go to Dwayne (Washington's) tomorrow. Those guys really do a great job of taking care of me. Then we get free food here, free equipment. It's not like I'm going out partying every night -- it's not like college. I'm studying every night, taking care of my body. They're teaching me to be a pro. And when we go get massages or whatever, I mean, they know my financial situation, so they'll literally pay for my ***. 

Even George Winn, our old No. 38, he gave me his car (a Chrysler 200). He's like, 'Tion, until you get situated with everything, you can have my car as long as you need it.' He's with the Colts now and has a couple cars, so he's like, 'Look, Tion, here's my college car. Just take care of it.' And he gave me his car. I'm probably the luckiest rookie in the NFL right now. 

 

 

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the line has gone all the way from lions -3 to cards -2.5.

i wonder if they think ansah isnt playing?

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Haven't been around much, will be at the game. I definitely think the team is headed in the right direction, just not quite there yet. Just think how far along this team could have been if we had just fired the useless Mayhew (and Caldwell for that matter) sooner.**

Lions lose today (in a close game), go 8-8 miss the wild card and fire Caldwell after the season. Paving the way for us to win a playoff game next season.

Have a great football Sunday folks, I'll try to stop by every now to throw in my two cents that I'm sure everyone misses around here. ;)

**Figured since I haven't posted in months I needed at least one obligatory statement bashing Mayhew or otherwise being critical of the Lions.**

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A lot of things have to go right for the Lions to get a win today. A rookie MLB has to go against the league’s best all purpose back. A backup LT and a rebuilt OL have to go against one of best pass rushing DLs from last season. Our weak slot DB position goes up against the NFL’s best slot receiver. And a weak DL has to go against an aggressive deep passing attack. Hate to say it, but Lions could lose by two TDs.

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hope to see: improved oline and running game.

ansah looking healthy and active

continued improvement from robinson on the inside

davis doesnt look out of place

ebron taking advantage of mismatches

stafford saving the day and having time to throw.

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45 minutes ago, Jason_R said:

A lot of things have to go right for the Lions to get a win today. A rookie MLB has to go against the league’s best all purpose back. A backup LT and a rebuilt OL have to go against one of best pass rushing DLs from last season. Our weak slot DB position goes up against the NFL’s best slot receiver. And a weak DL has to go against an aggressive deep passing attack. Hate to say it, but Lions could lose by two TDs.

They did lose Campbell from that DL though and Mathieu is coming off a torn ACL while Buchannon is supposed to be out IIRC.

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34 minutes ago, Buddha said:

hope to see: improved oline and running game.

ansah looking healthy and active

continued improvement from robinson on the inside

davis doesnt look out of place

ebron taking advantage of mismatches

stafford saving the day and having time to throw.

Bout it

I think the LBs will surprise this year over all. Not saying they're elite, but I think we upgraded all 3 spots, and I include Kilebrew in this group really.

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On 9/9/2017 at 6:53 AM, djhutch said:

Big, surprisingly dominating win on the road.

 

On 9/9/2017 at 7:57 AM, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

For the Cardinals.

Oops. I don't know what I was looking at.  For some reason I thought we were in AZ.

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Just now, ROMAD1 said:

Captain Skye Martin is attractive

 

I wanted to make sure I had that on record.  In case her parents were on this board. 

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