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Cardinals vs. Lions preview: How to run vs. Detroit's defense

A look at how a team can have success on the ground against a very stout Lions defensive line.


the St. Louis Rams have a good defensive line as we saw last week, but mostly it is more undersized and quicker than the line we will be facing this week with Detroit. Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley make up just about the best down linemen we will face all year. Since the great rushing team like Minnesota can only muster 105 yards against them, I don't really expect a huge day rushing. There are however opportunities to rush on the defense this week. Let's take a look at the very first rush from Adrian Peterson.

First let me be blunt here, you will never, ever see this defensive front against the Cardinals. There is no way they are going to put eight people in the box like this and keep our wide receivers 1 on 1 with their corners. If they do, Larry Fitzgerald is going to catch 15 passes for 250 yards and four TD's.

The play is a designed cutback run much like the same run I wrote up about with my zone blocking write up that I did before the season.

As the play starts, both the running back and the fullback go towards the weak side of the line like a standard Iso running play. AP actually gets the ball on the wrong side of the quarterback, knowing he needs to make his cut to the hole. This misdirection on the play will actually cause the linebackers to over pursue and cause them to be out of position to make a play.

Just as AP makes his cut towards the hole, you can see the iso block coming from the fullback, blocking the only person who can stop this play at this point. You can also see the misdirection action that now causes 5 down linemen able to block 7 people with a giant wall of white.

You can see in the final image that AP is already in the second level and one good move (which AP I think breaks this guys kneecaps here) and its a 78 yard TD run. Do I expect this from the Cardinals? No, but they did an excellent job of running the ball on vs St. Louis putting themselves in a position for 2nd and 6 and 3rd and 3 several times. We can run the ball because like I said there is no way they are going to let our receivers have free reign.

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