Lions best chance for road win is Sunday

Winning on the road comes down to three factors: 1. Run the ball 2. Stop the run 3. Win the turnover battle Detroit ought to be able to do all three against hapless Arizona.

Detroit Lions (3-9) at Arizona Cardinals (4-8)
Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe Arizona
Game time 4:05pm EST
ARIZONA is 4-2 in past games against DETROIT since 1992

Last meeting: ARIZONA 45, DETROIT 38

(ALLEN PARK, MI)--The Arizona Cardinals should be the medicine for what ills the Detroit Lions. No matter what the critics say about Detroit 'not being set-up to win' this season or 'Arizona having better personnel than Detroit' this is the week for Detroit to get that elusive road "W".

This is it.

If the Lions don't get it this week, it could be lights-out for coach Marty Mornhinweg and president Matt Millen.

You think that's overstating it?

Remember what happened to the entire front office and coach Gary Moeller when the Chicago Bears' Paul Edinger made a 52-yard field goal that took the Lions from a possible 10-6 playoff season to a 9-7 just miss finish? Virtually the entire front office was broomed and Moeller eventually got the axe.

Listen, Detroit hasn't had much to cheer about these past few weeks. They've endured their own four-game losing streak at least partially induced by a Mornhinweg brain cramp in Chicago.

They've been able to get by with rationalizing that their playing a rookie quarterback (first round draft pick Joey Harrington) and with a veteran under center could have won six or seven games.

Well that might be partially true. Detroit blew one sure win in Chicago and might have had another on the road in Minnesota. But, this is as close to "the sure thing" as Detroit is going to get.

Several veterans have stated privately that the long losing streak on the road is the most embarrassing thing that's happened to them. Some have been with this program for two years and haven't won on the road...ever.

That's why, almost to a man, the Lions really want this one.

"It's a matter of realizing that you're building a franchise and understanding that you have to start somewhere," said Lions safety Corey Harris. "We haven't had a road win in Marty's two years here. We still have some things that we can do that will show the people within this organization that we're headed in the right direction. The first thing on my mind is getting a road win."

"We're just trying to get a win," said corner Chris Cash. "[It] doesn't matter if it's a road win or a home win. We're just trying to win ball games. Everybody in the league is trying to get road wins. We'd love to have a great road record, but this year we haven't had one. Hopefully this week we can get a "w."

Following a 49-0 shellacking at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs, the Cardinals are being ripped by the media and several players are ripping their teammates for what many felt was a lack of effort and quitting.

Former Eastern Michigan star L.J. Shelton said following the embarrassing loss, "If I ever saw this coming, I wouldn't have shown up. I never saw this coming at all. Nothing like this."

"It was embarrassing," said defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch. "You try to come away with positives from games. There weren't many positives out there today, and they will be hard to find when we are watching film."

Indeed, the loss was the worst recorded in the NFL since 1989. Because of that some wonder if the Lions are catching the Cards at a bad time, they are wounded, embarrassed and their beloved coach, Dave McGinnis is again on the hot seat.

"One thing about the NFL, you don't know who's going to show up," said Cash. "A team can get blown out on week and come back and blow somebody else out the next week."

"The Cardinals had a rough weekend last Sunday," said fullback Cory Schlesinger. We need to go out there and have a good weekend. That's the only thing I'm really worried about. We're preparing the same. We're not thinking about 'hey, this is the opportunity for us to beat [a road opponent]' because we should be able to beat everybody if we play our game right."

This game is a litmus test for both franchises. There are jobs on the line on both sides. With several injuries on both sides, the teams are just about even. This one will come down to who wants it the most. Marty Mornhinweg is going to learn a lot about his team this week.

Material from other wire reports was used in this report


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