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Arizona Cardinals vs. Detroit Lions Preview and Prediction

Author:
Patrick Peterson

Patrick Peterson

The Arizona Cardinals enter Sunday's game atop the NFC West standings. But the Cardinals suffered their first loss last week during a 24-22 upset by the St. Louis Rams. Arizona's late-game rally fell short as St. Louis managed to gain ground in the division standings and even its record at 2-2.

The Detroit Lions are hoping for a similar outcome on in Week 5 when they host the Cardinals. The Lions are winless through their first four games and are in last place in the NFC North. Here's a look at Sunday's matchup in the Motor City.

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Arizona at Detroit

Kickoff: 4:05 p.m. ET (Sunday)
TV Channel: FOX
Spread: Arizona -3

Three Things to Watch

1. Cards must convert in the red zone

Arizona's Week 4 loss was due in large part to its inability to score in the red zone. The Cardinals went 1-of-5 on red zone trips, an area in which they excelled through their first three games.

Arizona had previously gone 11-of-12 on red zone trips during its three-game winning streak. Perhaps the Cardinals can rediscover their success against a Detroit defense that has already allowed 11 scores in 2015.

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2. Lions must find success on offense

It wasn't long ago that Detroit's offense ranked among the league's best. But through four games, the Lions have been lackluster, averaging 292.8 yards per game and ranking 30th in the NFL.

Calvin Johnson has been equally disappointing with an average of less than 10 yards per reception. It won't get much easier facing an Arizona defense than ranks fifth in total defense and has one of the league's most talented young secondaries.

3. Can Detroit finally capture its first win?

Detroit is winless through four games after playing four teams capable of playing in the postseason. Once again, the Lions have their hands full facing a first-place Cardinals team coming off a disappointing loss.

So far, the Lions have only played one game at home — a 24-12 loss to the undefeated Denver Broncos. Could their second appearance at Ford Field will bring some better home-field advantage or will Arizona's talent be too much for the slumping team?

Final Analysis

Detroit's woes continue in a bounce-back performance by Arizona. The Cardinals are too talented to suffer disappointing losses in consecutive weeks against overmatched opponents.

Arizona will find its rhythm in the red zone and cut down on turnovers — which played a crucial role in its Week 4 loss. This will be a steady win for the Cardinals.

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Prediction: Cardinals 38, Lions 10

— Written by Jason Hall, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and works for Fox Sports Florida. Follow him on Twitter @jasonhallFSN.