NFL PREVIEWS |

Detroit Lions vs. Arizona Cardinals Preview and Predictions 09-08-2019


The much-anticipated Kyler Murray era begins Sunday when the Arizona Cardinals host the Detroit Lions, but the first overall pick in the 2019 draft boasts a sense of calmness as the moment nears. "I'm chillin'," Murray, the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner at Oklahoma, told reporters. "I'm excited for Sunday obviously knowing it's a big day for everybody - the start of the season. But we want to start it off the right way and that's with a win. So, I'm preparing like any other season for me."

Cardinals first-year coach Kliff Kingsbury wants his quarterback, who is listed at 5 feet 10, 207 pounds, to "play his game, cut it loose" as he takes the keys to the Air Raid offense that Kingsbury brought with him from Texas Tech. Detroit on Wednesday bought a look inside Kingsbury's playbook when it signed quarterback Chad Kanoff, who was cut by Arizona last weekend, to the practice squad. Kingsbury said that Kanoff knows "pretty much everything. Whatever he says is exactly what we're going to run in the game. That's tough for us." The Lions - like the Cardinals - finished last in their division in 2018 and hope that quarterback Matthew Stafford, who has played every game over the last eight years, can lead them back to the postseason.

TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Lions -2.5 O/U: 46.5

ABOUT THE LIONS (2018: 6-10, LAST IN NFC NORTH): Stafford owns a franchise-record eight straight seasons with 3,500 or more passing yards and needs 1,474 to become the 21st quarterback in NFL history with 40,000. Second-year coach Matt Patricia, who was defensive coordinator in New England from 2012-17, has a pair of ex-Super Bowl champions making their club debuts in defensive end Trey Flowers (7.5 sacks, three forced fumbles in 2018 with the Patriots) and wide receiver Danny Amendola, who spent last season with Miami after five years in Foxborough. Running back C.J. Anderson, who also makes his team debut, rushed for 167 yards and a touchdown against Arizona last season while with the Los Angeles Rams.

ABOUT THE CARDINALS (2018: 3-13, LAST IN NFC WEST): Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (1,303 catches, 16,279 yards) is second all-time in receiving yards to Jerry Rice (22,895) and needs 23 receptions to move past Tony Gonzalez and into second behind Rice (1,549). Running back David Johnson recorded 1,239 yards and 16 touchdowns rushing and 80 receptions for 879 yards and four scores during his breakout season of 2016 but didn't approach those numbers last year (940 yards, seven TDs rushing; 50 catches, 446 yards, three TDs) after missing the final 15 games of 2017 with a wrist injury. Arizona boasts a formidable pass rush in linebacker Chandler Jones, whose 53.5 sacks since 2015 lead the NFL, and linebacker Terrell Suggs, who joins the team while leading all active players with 132.5.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Detroit CB Darius Slay tied for third in the league with 17 passes defended last season and his 86 PDs since 2014 lead the NFL.

2. Fitzgerald carries a 227-game reception streak into the season - second-longest in NFL history behind Rice (274).

3. The Lions lead the series 33-28-5 and snapped a seven-game slide by winning the last two meetings, including 17-3 last season in Arizona with Slay returning an interception 67 yards for a touchdown.

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Glendale, Arizona, USA.
Capacity: 63,400

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Last Injuries

Arizona Cardinals

  • Marcus Gilbert

    Personal
    I-R | I-R

    Gilbert has been placed on the Injured Reserve/Opt-Out list and after deciding to sit out the duration of the 2020 season.

  • Maxx Williams

    Illness
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Williams is on the active Non-Football Illness list as he isn't feeling well. There is no timetable for return.

Detroit Lions

  • Jalen Elliott

    Illness
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Elliott has been added to the Injured Reserve/COVID-19 list, and it is unclear how long he will need to get back to full health.

  • Russell Bodine

    Personal
    I-R | I-R

    Bodine is on the Injured Reserve/Opt-Out list after letting the team know that he has decided to rule himself out for the duration of the 2020 season.

  • Geronimo Allison

    Personal
    I-R | I-R

    Allison will sit out the entire 2020 season due to a personal decision, and he has been shifted to the Injured Reserve/Opt-Out list.

  • Austin Bryant

    Pectoral
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Bryant will spend an extended period on the 10-day injured list while he heals from a pectoral injury.

  • Romeo Okwara

    Undisclosed
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Okwara has landed on the active Non-Football Injury list with an unspecified ailment. He is without a definitive timetable for return.

  • Jayron Kearse

    Suspension
    Elig Week 4 | out

    Kearse has been issued a three-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. He will be eligible to return versus the Saints in Week 4.

  • Justin Coleman

    Illness
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Coleman has been added to the Injured Reserve/COVID-19 list, and it is up in the air when it will be safe for him to get back on the field.

  • Matthew Stafford

    Illness
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Stafford has been posted on the Injured Reserve/COVID-19 list, and it is unknown how long he will be sidelined.