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ROD BEARD

The Lions look to push their way back to the postseason, opening with the Cardinals, whose defense will provide a challenge out the gate for Matthew Stafford and the Lions offense.  As much as the Lions' defense is a concern, the offensive line also will have the spotlight on them from the opening game to keep Stafford healthy and upright. If they're going to be a playoff team, they'll need to win these types of games. Not this time. Cardinals 24, Lions 20

JAMES HAWKINS

Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald begin what could be their last hurrah in Arizona – and in their careers. While all-purpose back David Johnson will surely give the Lions’ defense a headache and burners J.J. Nelson and John Brown will command attention on the outside, Fitzgerald will be the difference with his ability to move the chains and take advantage of whomever Detroit puts at nickel. Cardinals 24, Lions 20

JOHN NIYO

The Lions could have one of the better passing attacks in the NFL this season. And with a healthy Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick, we should see some big plays against the Cardinals. But same goes for Arizona's offense in this one. I'd expect a game — and a finish — similar to last year's opener at Indianapolis. Lions 31, Cardinals 27

2017 DETROIT LIONS SCHEDULE

JUSTIN ROGERS

This game features two potentially potent offenses. The Lions might need to force a turnover or two, but home field will prove to be the difference. Lions 26, Cardinals 24 

BOB WOJNOWSKI

The Lions defense will be tested immediately by a great back in David Johnson and a savvy quarterback in Carson Palmer. The Cardinals like to throw deep, which means the Lions had better muster some semblance of a pass rush. Matthew Stafford has to find a way to dent Arizona’s talented secondary, because this is the type of game a top quarterback, in the home opener, is required to pull out.  Lions 27, Cardinals 23

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