After back to back bad weeks for the Lions, they travel to Arizona to face the undefeated Cardinals. The Lions have blown back to back double digit leads in their first two games of the season, Making coach Matt Patrica’s seat is hotter than ever. Detroit needs to put a good game on tape and they need it badly. With that being said, I’ll tell you my five players to watch in this upcoming game.
1. WR Kenny Golladay
Golladay is no guarantee to play this week but the odds are getting that the the Lions best receiver to make his 2020 debut. The lions offense has been stagnant the first couple weeks with Stafford not looking like his 2020 level as of yet. Golladay and Matthew Stafford have connected on at least 65 passes and 1000 yards in each of the last two seasons.
2. CB Jeff Okudah
Okudah made his debut last week against future hall of fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers and star receiver Davante Adams. It did not go well, as Okudah actually earned just a 27.2 coverage grade with pro football focus. The rookie was picked on all game, but hopefully it was a solid learning experience. He made a few mistakes, but even veteran starters in the NFL look like fools when going up against that kind of talent. This week he gets yet another huge test with Kyler Murray and Deandre Hopkins.
3. RB Kerryon Johnson
Johnson came out last week and had a very productive opening series, totaling 20 yards and topping off the drive with a rushing touchdown. If Johnson can continue to do this, he will find his was back into the mix more at running back. The coaching staff have already said they are going with the hot hand at that position. This allowed for the other two backs to take over last game as Johnson faded away as the game progressed. Besides the hot hand approach, Johnson also has to deal with the fact that his receiving game is lacking. He has been targeted once through two games and dropped the pass.
4. DE Trey Flowers
Flowers was the Lions best ranked defender last week, and seeing as how he managed to put up only one pressure, that shows the Lions defense was bad. Flowers has been know as a guy who makes a lot of plays outside of the stat box, but he needs to do more than that for the price the Lions are paying for his services. Seven and a half sacks is his career high and Detroit needs at least that many in 2020 in order to have a successful defense.
5. S Will Harris
Harris has been one of, if not the worst Lions defender this season. He has missed more than his fair share of tackles in both games this year and has been well below average in 61 coverage snaps. If he wants to keep getting on the field, he needs to clean up a large amount of his game. Look for him to step up or be replaced by Tracy Walker, who has been the Lions best tackler so far this year. Walker has also played better in coverage, slightly, and has had success on blitzes.
I don’t like the Lions chances in this one, as they have not shown that they can play at a consistently good level. Detroit has not been able to sustain offense after the first half, despite taking double digit leads in both games. The Lions are actually the first team in history to blow a double digit lead in four straight games, dating back to last season. The prediction here is that the Cardinals will win big, final score of 35- 21.
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