Five keys to the game as the Detroit Lions (1-0) visit the Arizona Cardinals (0-1) at 4 p.m. Sunday on Fox, WJBK-Fox 2 in Detroit area.
1. Continue to make Reggie Bush a huge part of the offense. The running back had 25 touches and 191 all-purpose yards in the win over Minnesota. Stay with him. He’s tough enough.
2. The defensive line must keep the pressure on — minus the low block penalty on Ndamukong Suh. Looks like Nick Fairley will play which is key. He and Suh can make life miserable for Carson Palmer.
3. The re-worked offensive line played well — Matthew Stafford was not sacked (the sack on the stat sheets was changed to a rush Monday) and they opened holes for the running backs. They should only get better. Corey Hilliard will be in for Jason Fox who injured a groin Sunday and couldn’t finish the game.
4. Rookie Darius Slay needs to show improvement. He made some plays, missed others against the Vikings. He was replaced in the fourth quarter by veteran Rashean Mathis, but Schwartz said Slay is still the starter. It’s a learning process, we get that but learning faster is better than learning slower.
5. This is a another no-brainer, but it is key. Get the ball to Calvin Johnson. His numbers were anemic against the Vikings (four catches, 37 yards) and he had a touchdown reversed and another that was oh-so close. The Cardinals gave up 299 passing yards to the Rams, they could be vulnerable.
My prediction: Lions 38, Cardinals 24