A lot of people are making a big deal about the defensive matchup between the Arizona Cardinals and the Detroit Lions this weekend. Two of the top defenses in the league will be on the field this weekend at University of Phoenix Stadium in a game that will determine who is the number one team in the NFC.
However, Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians isn't expecting a low-scoring affair,as he spoke to reporters this week.
Arians joked that it is these types of games that end up "30-27."
He then said what mostly every football coach will say. "So much will depend on who protects the football and who takes it away," he told reporters.
Why doesn't he expect it to be a low-scoring game?
"(Detroit is) too powerful offensively and I think we'll do fine scoring points," he said.
Of course, scoring points is a point of pride for Arians, being the playcaller himself.
He didn't say much about the Detroit defense, except for stating how physical they are when he was asked if the Arizona and Detroit defenses are similar. He said they are similar, but noted the difference.
"We're more multiple front," he explained, as the Cardinals use a 3-4 base and use two-man and three-man fronts in their sub packages and mix in defensive backs in different roles.
Detroit? They are "here we are, whoop our ass." The front line is very physical and has dominated much of the season. They don't need exotic looks or blitzes to do what they want to do.
Arians spoke more about Detroit's offensive firepower, especially the Lions starting quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Let's just say Arians is a fan. He said he "love(s) watching him warm up" and that Stafford is "amazing."
He said Stafford's arm is unlike anyone he has seen except "maybe Jeff George," the former number one pick who played for Colts and other teams many years ago. Stafford "has an extremely powerful arm that can throw from any angle."
The biggest worry Arians has is what happens when plays break down because Stafford "is a good scrambler."
"When he scrambles, it's going deep ans he's betting that your DBs are going to panic on the ball and his guys will go up and get it," Arians explained. "Of course, he's got Megatron (receiver Calvin Johnson) down there, so he can just jump over three of them. But normally when he comes out of the pocket, it's not a short pass, it's going way down the field."
Golden Tate is another threat at receiver.
You would think the Cardinals were facing the Broncos.
Detroit averages only score 20 points a game, four less than the Cardinals. That is good for only 24th in the league. Their defense allows less than 16 points a game -- best in the league.
But Arians wants to talk about their offense.
He is right. The Lions have all sorts of firepower, but they have been wildly inconsistent.
Do you expect a shootout, as Arians seems to suggest, or do you think this will be a low-scoring game?
"We;re very similar. We're more multiple front. Their lineup, 'here we are, whoop our ass."
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