This week’s Free NFL Pick of the Week for Sportspicks.com Insiders only comes from the late Sunday afternoon matchup between the Detroit Lions and the Arizona Cardinals.
Selection: Arizona +1 vs. Detroit
Everyone saw the highlight plays from Reggie Bush in Detroit’s week one victory over Arizona and the Lions seem like a popular pick this week laying 1 point at Arizona. But I still think this Detroit team has a lot to prove and the Cardinals are being undervalued as an underdog in this one.
The addition of QB Carson Palmer along with new HC Bruce Arians has revitalized the Arizona offense. A team with Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Roberts, Michael Floyd, and Rashard Mendenhall can move the ball and put points on the board. The question, as it has been the last several years, is all about the offensive line. Can the line give Palmer enough time to get the ball to his playmaking receivers. They will have their hands full against this very talented Detroit defensive line but the Lions are vulnerable on the back-end and will give up several big plays on Sunday.
On the other side of the ball the Cardinals have one of the top defensive backs in the game in Patrick Peterson to matchup with star WR Calvin Johnson. Last week the Vikings played 2 deep safeties the entire game and devoted a ton of defensive attention to stopping Johnson which opened the field to big plays from Bush. The Vikings do not have a shut down corner like Peterson so the Cardinals will have more flexibility in the looks they give this Detroit offense. Stafford is still prone to poor throws and this is an opportunistic Cardinal defense.
Injury note – Larry Fitzgerald tweaked a hamstring in practice on Wednesday, keep an eye on the injury reports to see the latest updates on Fitzgerald’s status as obviously he would be a huge loss for the Cardinals if he can’t go.