Rod Beard: All evidence in recent memory suggests that the Lions have no chance to go on the road to Arizona and take a franchise-changing victory. When was the last time the Lions won five straight? When was the last time they had the best record in the NFC after the midway point of the season? You won't have to look it up, because it'll happen this week. The defense stands tall again and adds some intrigue to November and December. Lions 27-20

Josh Katzenstein: Based on how the Lions and Cardinals match up, the battle for early pole position in the NFC will likely come down to the wire. Patrick Peterson and Antonio Cromartie will be the best cornerback tandem Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate face, but the Lions defense should be able to force some errant throws. But in the final minutes, give me the quarterback (Drew Stanton) who's playing for his newborn daughter. Cardinals 20-19

Bob Wojnowski: You penciled in this matchup for the top spot in the NFC, right? The Lions never enjoy dessert in the desert, but they caught another break in this one. Drew Stanton steps in for injured Carson Palmer, and the former Lion quarterback is smart and tough. But can he hit big plays with the talented Cardinals receivers? The top-rated Lions defense is likely to say no. Lions 20-10

John Niyo: The Lions offensive line was just starting to find a rhythm. Now it's missing two key pieces, and facing a defense anchored by a secondary that allows it to blitz almost at will. Maybe Matthew Stafford can make them pay, but maybe not. Cardinals 23-21