AT A GLANCE: NFC-West leading Cardinals aim for 8-0 road mark at Detroit

Kyler Murray Rams Cardinals Football
Posted at 2:51 PM, Dec 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-16 14:51:49-05

ARIZONA (10-3) at DETROIT (1-11-1)
Sunday, 1 p.m. EST, Fox

BETTING LINE: Cardinals by 12 1/2, according to FanDuel SportsBook.

AGAINST THE SPREAD: Cardinals 9-4; Lions 7-5-1.

SERIES RECORD: Lions lead 34-28-6.

LAST MEETING: Lions beat Cardinals 26-23 on Sept. 27, 2020 at Arizona.

LAST WEEK: Cardinals lost to Rams 30-23; Lions lost to Broncos 38-10.





TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Cardinals plus-10; Lions minus-4.

CARDINALS PLAYER TO WATCH WR A.J. Green. With WR DeAndre Hopkins’ knee injury, Green will have more passes coming his way. Green had a strong performance against Los Angeles on Monday night, making a season-high seven receptions and surpassing 100 yards receiving for the second time this year.

LIONS PLAYER TO WATCH: WR Amon-Ra St. Brown. The rookie had a team-high eight receptions for 73 yards against Denver last week. In the previous game, he had career highs with 10 catches for 86 yards and made the winning TD reception for his first score in the last-play victory over Minnesota.

KEY MATCHUP: QB Kyler Murray against Detroit’s defense. Murray threw for 383 yards, ran for a season-high 61 yards and had a career-high 444 yards of offense against the Rams. He did not throw a touchdown and did have two interceptions in the setback. The Lions will boost their slim chances at pulling off an upset if they can force Murray to turn it over often.

KEY INJURIES: Hopkins was hurt in the fourth quarter against the Rams. RB James Conner (ankle) had an MRI and coach Kliff Kingsbury said his status is day to day. Kingsbury hopes RB Chase Edmonds (ankle) and OL Justin Pugh (calf) will be play in Detroit after both missed multiple games. ... Detroit was without its top RBs D’Andre Swift (shoulder) and Jamaal Williams (COVID-19 reserve list) along with standout TE T.J. Hockenson (hand) against Denver and they did not practice Wednesday. Williams was one of five players on the COVID-19 reserve list on Wednesday, when C Evan Brown was removed from the list. S Alex Anzalone (ankle) and CB Jerry Jacobs (knee) were injured against the Broncos.

SERIES NOTES: The Lions are 3-0-1 against the Cardinals since losing to them in 2015. ... Detroit has won 55.7% of games against Arizona, its third-highest winning percentage among teams with more than 15 all-time matchups.

STATS AND STUFF: Arizona is a win away from earning a spot in the playoffs for the first time in six years. ... The Cardinals are a game ahead of the Rams in the NFC West and are tied with Green Bay and Tampa Bay for the conference’s best record. ... Arizona dropped from No. 1 to 5 in the AP Pro32 and Detroit remained at No. 30, staying ahead of Houston and Jacksonville. ... If the Cardinals win, they will be the 10th team to have eight road victories in a season with a chance on Jan. 2 at Dallas to be the NFL’s first team with a 9-0 road record in a season. The league is playing a 17-game schedule for the first time this season... If Arizona beats Detroit by double digits, it will be the league’s first team to win eight road games in a row by 10-plus points since Chicago had nine consecutive victories by double digits as visitors during the 1941 and 1942 seasons. ... Conner scored for a team-record seventh straight game with two TDs against the Rams. He also had a career-high nine catches and a season-high 94 yards receiving, but was held to a season-low 2.38 yards rushing on 13 carries. ... Detroit has double digits in losses for the fourth straight year and will have 11 or more setbacks for the third year in a row. ... The lopsided loss in Denver ended a four-game stretch in which the Lions won for the first time, tied once and lost twice by a total of five points. ... QB Jared Goff threw five TDs and only one INT in his last two home games. ... St. Brown and Philadelphia’s DeVonta Smith are the two NFC rookie WRs with 50-plus receptions and 500-plus yards receiving. ... Third-year LB Josh Woods had a career-high 13 tackles at Denver.

FANTASY TIP: Green is worth a start. He has a pair of 100-yard receiving games in a season for the first time since 2018 and will have an increased role in the offense against a banged-up secondary.