Free Press sports writers predict the Detroit Lions vs. Arizona Cardinals game in Week 15, Sunday at Ford Field (1 p.m., Fox).
The Lions are 1-11-1, the worst record in the league, and four more losses would give them the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft for the first time since 2009, when they selected Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford.
The Cardinals (10-3) lost at home to the Los Angeles Rams on Monday Night Football — which hurt the Lions since they own L.A.’s first-round draft choice — but remain atop the NFC West Division.
Arizona is favored by 11.5 points, according to our betting partner Tipico Sportsbook.
This will be the fifth straight season the two teams have played.
The Lions defeated Kyler Murray and the Cards in Arizona in Week 3 last season, 26-23, on a Matt Prater field goal as time expired, snapping an 11-game losing streak. The two teams stunningly tied in the 2019 season opener in Arizona, 27-all, and the Lions won in Arizona late in the 2018 season, 17-3.
The last time Arizona visited Ford Field was the opener in 2017, when Kenny Golladay scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns in his debut to help the Lions to a 35-23 win.
The Lions were in an impossible spot against a mediocre team last week, and their roster is in almost as bad a shape against one of the NFL’s best now. Their only chance to win is to dominate on the ground, keep Arizona’s offense off the field, and strike for a big play or two in the passing game. Campbell was aggressive trying to create extra possessions against the high-powered Rams earlier this year, and there’s no reason to think he will hold any part of his playbook back Sunday. Defensively, the Lions cannot allow Murray to deliver the kind of stake-through-the-heart plays he has become known for. The Cardinals are chasing the No. 1 seed in the NFC, and coming off the loss, it’s tough to see them playing a clunker, even on a short week. The pick: Cardinals 28, Lions 17.
After a disappointing home loss to Matthew Stafford and the Rams, Kyler Murray and Cardinals will take out there frustrations on Stafford’s old team. The COVID-depleted Lions are no match for Arizona’s complete team, which ranks fourth in scoring offense (28.2) and scoring defense (19.5 points). This one should be over some time early in the third quarter, though the Lions will get a few points in garbage time. The pick: Cardinals 37, Lions 20.
What’s the one thing you can say about Arizona? They have a tendency to cover on the road. The Cardinals will win going away. How about the Lions? They will take one step closer to earning that No.1 pick. Just repeat after me: Rebuilds are never fun and they can get ugly. Consider this another ugly step. The pick: Cardinals 35, Lions 20
The Cardinals are coming off a tough loss to Matthew Stafford and the Rams and aren’t going to lose two in a row fighting for home field advantage in the playoffs. The Lions will show fight for a while as they always do. Then they will lose, as they almost always do. The pick: Cardinals 26, Lions 13.
Stay informed on what’s happening across Michigan: Subscribe to our news alert emails.