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Lions vs. Cardinals: Can Detroit pressure Palmer into mistakes?

The Detroit News
Ziggy Ansah forces a fumble by Russell Wilson on Monday night.

We break down Sunday's Lions-Cardinals game at Ford Field (4:05 p.m., Fox/97.1):

Cardinals to watch

Carson Palmer, QB: After missing the second half of last season with a knee injury, Palmer is off to a great start. He has completed 63 percent of his passes for 1,155 yards, 10 TDs and three INTs. In the team’s only loss, last Sunday to St. Louis, he was sacked four times after suffering one sack the previous three games.

Larry Fitzgerald, WR: At 32, Fitzgerald is still the Cardinals go-to receiver. In four games, he has 30 catches for 432 yards and five TDs.

David Johnson, RB: The rookie third-round pick has returned a kickoff for a TD and has two receiving and one rushing TDs. He caught a TD pass last week against St. Louis, but fumbled the opening kickoff and dropped a TD pass.


Hard running: With the game on the line against the Seahawks, the Lions put rookie RB Zach Zenner in and he had a couple important runs. Expect to see more of him against the Cardinals.

Quick running: Ameer Abdullah has established himself as the top Lions running back. He has two total TDs this year (one rushing, one receiving). By returning a kickoff for a TD this season, he would become the fifth Lions player to record a rushing, receiving and kickoff return TD in the same season and the first since 1980 (Ray Williams).

In a rush: The Lions defense put a lot of pressure on Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, sacking him four times. Wilson used his running ability to get out of some jams. Cardinals QB Carson Palmer doesn’t move well in the pocket.

Protection: The Lions’ offensive line provided some good protection for quarterback Matthew Stafford. That’s the good news. The unit, however, couldn’t open holes for the running game, which coach Jim Caldwell desperately wants to be productive. The teams ranks last in rushing yards (47 yards per game). The Dolphins are the next worst, rushing for 69.2 yards per game.

Ziggy moments: DE Ziggy Ansah has four sacks, including two in Week 4 at Seattle. His 19.5 sacks are the most among all players drafted from 2013-15.

Facts and figures

*QB Matthew Stafford leads the NFL in pass completions with 106. His 1,017 passing yards rank ninth.

*With seven receptions against the Seahawks, WR Calvin Johnson tied WR Herman Moore (670) for the most receptions in Lions history.

*The Cardinals beat the Lions last season at home, 14-6.

*The next three games for the Lions are at home — Cardinals, Bears and Vikings — then they travel to London to play the Chiefs. Arizona plays six of its next eight games on the road.