One way or another, at least one of the NFL’s three longest losing streaks will come to an end on Sunday.
The Detroit Lions travel to Glendale, AZ, to face the Cardinals on Sunday, and to say these two teams have been slumping is an understatement. The Lions have lost five straight and the Cardinals started out 4-0 but have since fallen to 4-9.
Yes, that’s nine straight losses.
But ‘something’s gotta give’ in this epic battle, and one team’s streak will end. Heck, both could stop their skids in the event of a tie. Maybe head coaches Jim Schwartz and Ken Wisenhunt should get together and arrange that.
Both teams have to be extremely disappointed to find themselves at 4-9 heading into week 15. Injuries have played a factor for both squads, and they continue to be a problem. The Cards lost their starting quarterback, Kevin Kolb, early this year and the position has been a mess ever since. They have gone from Kolb to John Skelton, then back to Kolb, then to Ryan Lindley, then back to Skelton, then… well you get the picture.
The revolving door at QB for Arizona has been seen in Detroit at wide receiver. Calvin Johnson has been a mainstay, and is on pace to break Jerry Rice’s single-season receiving record. 101 yards-per-game will put Megatron in the record books yet again. The problem has been opposite him, where many have tried and failed.
Detroit began the year with Nate Burleson as the starting #2 wideout. He was lost to injury, so Titus Young stepped in, and purposely lined up in the wrong spots. Enter Mike
Thomas, who seemed to do OK for a game, even catching a touchdown pass.
Then we found out he catches about as well as Brandon Pettigrew, so back to the bench he went.
Finally, we’ve landed the great Kris Durham, who played with Matthew Stafford at Georgia back in their college days. Durham started fresh off the practice squad last Sunday and played just about every play for Detroit, looking decent doing so. Durham made a fantastic one-handed catch that gave the Lions a big play, and finished with 4 catches for 54 yards.
Keep an eye on Durham in Sunday’s game. He has a three-game tryout to make this team for next year. With Young surely out of Detroit and Burleson’s status uncertain, Durham could see significant playing time next year should he perform well to finish the season.
There is little doubt that Detroit will win this game, but that is a testament to Arizona more than it is of Detroit. The Cardinals are flat out bad, so even a Lions team that will be without Nick Fairley and Brandon Pettigrew can handle them.
That said, I’ll be watching the Lions closely. There has been no leadership at all from Detroit this year, but it isn’t too late. Leaders often emerge in the darkest of times.
Also keep an eye on the Detroit backfield. Joique Bell has been slowly getting more touches due to his versatility. Bell could take the starting job from Mikel Leshoure if he continues to be the better back.
The game airs at 4:05 on Fox.
This losing streak has brought back not-so-fond memories for Lions fans, but a win in Arizona could right the ship and get this team back on track and poised for a strong finish.
I’d even take a tie at this point.
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