NFL Week 2 Picks and Predictions: Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals
Odds courtesy of Bovada
Detroit opened its season at home against the Minnesota Vikings and emerged victorious 34-24. Matthew Stafford built on his strong 2012 by driving for 357 passing yards (28-of-43), while throwing two TDs and one INT. Running back Reggie Bush had a strong game in his first as a Lion, attempting 21 rushes for 90 yards. His long-standing criticism has been lack of big play production, but the Lions may not need that from him. Joique Bell made a somewhat surprising two touchdown contribution to the Lions attack, as well.
Detroit won just four games last season, but could begin the season 2-0 if NFL oddsmakers at Bovada are correct, who set the line two points in favor of the visiting Lions. Arizona began the season with a 27-24 loss to the St. Louis Rams, and the Cardinals could begin the season 0-2, which would just further the disappointment of last year’s 5-11 campaign.
The loss to the Rams was marked by fourth quarter collapse, as the Rams went on to outscore Arizona 14-0 in the fourth behind a Sam Bradford TD pass, a two-point conversion, and a pair of field goals. The offense was very productive, matching scores with St. Louis and actually amassing more yardage (390 vs. 366), so there is grounds for believing that Arizona could defend their home field.
Carson Palmer is a much better QB than they’ve rolled with in recent years. Rashard Mendenhall and Alfonso Smith struggled to produce much on the run, but head coach Arians is a big believer in Mendenhall’s talent and will continue to put the ball in his hands.
Palmer has one of the best receiving options in the league in Larry Fitzgerald, and he shined in week one, catching 8 for 80 yards. Many proponents of Arizona will claim that ameliorating their major weakness at QB greatly strengthened the team and that this team could capitalize on a lot of wasted potential with Kolb and Skelton last season.