Behind Enemy Lines: Detroit Lions
Sunday’s matchup between the Detroit Lions and the Arizona Cardinals will be a meaningless matchup between two of the coldest teams in the NFL.
After a surprising 10-win season in 2011, the Detroit Lions failed to live up to the hype this season.
Despite being the top passing team in the league, the Lions find themselves at 4-9 and are losers of five straight games.
Luckily for them, they are about to visit the coldest team in the league.
Losers of a league-high nine games in a row, the Cardinals are in turmoil.
After being embarrassed by the Seattle Seahawks 58-0 last week, it can’t get much worse for Arizona.
Friday, December 14
Last week, an anonymous Detroit Lions player had a few critical words to say about defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. But this week, center Dominic Raiola came to his defense.
Much like the Arizona Cardinals, the Detroit Lions chances to make the playoff are long gone. At this point, the team is shifting their focus to star wide receiver Calvin Johnson and his pursuit of the single-season receiving yards record.
After missing practice for the third time this week, tight end Brandon Pettigrew and defensive tackle Nick Fairley’s availability for Sunday’s game seems unlikely.
Despite earned millions of dollars a year, Ndamukong Suh plans on going to court and fighting a $130 fine that he received for a recent traffic violation.
Thursday, December 13
The team was without cornerbacks Chris Houston and Jacob Lacey, safety Louis Delmas, defensive tackle Nick Fairley and tight end Brandon Pettigrew for the portion of practice open to the media.
The Lions have the best wide receiver in the NFL, an extremely talented young quarterback who nonetheless has taken a significant step backward this season, and an impressive defensive tackle tandem they probably can’t keep together beyond next season because of salary-cap limitations.
Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was criticized again last week, but dismissed the latest condemnation.
After a one season reprieve, it’s back to a point where Detroit Lions fans are spending December thinking more about the draft than the playoffs.
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has been criticized for awkward throws and lack of touchdowns this season, but is not concerned about outside opinions.
Like Corey Williams, safety Louis Delmas has been battling a knee injury all season. For the second time this week, coach Jim Schwartz was asked if the team is considering shelving Delmas as well.
Wednesday, December 12
When two teams have combined for 14 straight losses, how can you tell which is worse? How bad is bad? How low is low?
The Lions have plenty of decisions to make on defense this offseason with seven free-agent starters and a number of other key free-agent reserves.
Among the latter includes defensive end Lawrence Jackson, who is coming off probably his best game of the season in Green Bay. Jackson recorded a season-high three tackles, a sack and a forced fumble.
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford joined “Mike and Mike in the Morning” on ESPN Radio on Wednesday morning. Here’s a full transcript from the interview.
The Lions have tied and broke records for futility during their recent struggles. There are only three games remaining in this disappointing season.
Tuesday, December 11
The Lions informed Williams today that they are placing him on season-ending injured reserve because of a right knee injury that has limited him to just seven games this season.
In an interview with Sirius NFL Radio Tuesday, quarterback Matthew Stafford discussed, among other things, the offense’s slow start to the season when it came to scoring touchdowns.
Carries in the Detroit Lions’ ground game were essentially even split between running backs Mikel Leshoure and Joique Bell in Sunday’s loss to the Green Bay Packers.
Monday, December 10
The Detroit Lions’ starting tight end, Brandon Pettigrew, injured his ankle in Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers. His status was reported as questionable for the upcoming game against the Cardinals.
According to Detroit Lions’ defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham, the team will continue to play their veteran linebackers over younger players despite being out of the playoff race.
Much like the Cardinals, the Lions don’t have too much to play for. Both team have clinched their spots at the bottom of their divisions and scrambling to find meaning and answers from their disappointing seasons.
The Lions welcome a trip to University of Phoenix Stadium because it means they don’t have to play at Lambeau Field, where the team has not won a game since 1991.