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Detroit News scouting report: Lions at Cardinals

Rod Beard
The Detroit News

Lions at Cardinals

Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. Sunday, State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.

TV/radio: Fox/760

Records: Lions 0-2, Cardinals 2-0

Line: Cardinals by 5½

It hasn't taken long for Arizona's Kyler Murray (1) and DeAndre Hopkins to establish a connection on offense this season.

Rod Beard of The Detroit News breaks down the Lions’ Week 3 matchup against the Cardinals.

Key matchup

KYLER MURRAY VS. LIONS SECONDARY

Don’t look at last season’s opener as an indicator of what Murray can do to the Lions’ defense. Focus specifically on the fourth quarter, where Murray completed 15 of 19 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns and helped the Cardinals overcome an 18-point deficit to send his first NFL game into overtime. In that game, Murray didn’t run much, which is an impressive improvement in his repertoire. The Lions haven’t gotten a ton of pressure on the Bears’ Mitch Trubisky or the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers, so Murray could present a bigger threat with his combination of wheels and arm.

More: Lions' Golladay endures 'very frustrating' wait; hopes to return vs. Cardinals

Cardinals to watch

DeAndre Hopkins, WR: The Cardinals already were scary with Murray’s development toward the end of last season. Adding one of the best receivers in the game was a shrewd move to help the offense immediately. Hopkins has made an immediate impact, with 14 catches and 151 yards in the first game this season. He has 25 targets from Murray in the first two games and with the Lions’ secondary, it shouldn’t be much different.

Budda Baker, S: In August, Baker signed a four-year contract extension after earning Pro Bowl honors for the second time in three seasons. He recorded 147 tackles last year, ranking fourth in the league, and led the NFL with 104 solo tackles. Baker also received Pro Bowl recognition on special teams as a rookie in 2017. He’s a menace who the Lions will have to pay special attention to.

Devon Kennard, LB: After spending the last two seasons with the Lions, Kennard wasn’t retained in the offseason as the Lions opted for Jamie Collins instead. It’s a homecoming for Kennard, who led the Lions in sacks (seven) last season, including three on Murray.

More: Detroit News predictions: Lions at Cardinals

Facts and figures

►Sunday’s contest will be the eighth meeting in the last nine years between the Lions and Cardinals, with the Lions going 2-0-1 in the last three games. Prior to that, the Cardinals had won seven straight in the head-to-head series. The Lions’ road win in 2018 was their first victory in Arizona since 1993.

►Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald has 645 career receptions at State Farm Field and needs just two catches to surpass Jerry Rice’s record (646 at Candlestick Park) for the most receptions at a single stadium in NFL history.

►The Cardinals are 6-1 under Kliff Kingsbury when they rush for 150 yards or more in a game. In each of their first two games this season, they’ve ran for 180 and 160 yards, respectively.

Rod.Beard@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard