A win against the Arizona Cardinals is exactly what the Detroit Lions needed to save their season. After dropping back to back divisional games, which included blowing a 23-6 lead against the Chicago Bears in Week 1, Detroit needed to win against Arizona to save any hope having a successful season.
Detroit got off to a good start, putting together methodical opening drive that resulted in a Matt Prater field-goal. It was clear the game-plan against Arizona was to control the football and pace of the game, which Matt Patricia later confirmed in his Post-Game Conference. The game was very back and fourth throughout, and neither team was ever really in danger of pulling away. With both teams failing to score unanswered points the entire game, until Detroit did with two late Prater field-goals that won the game by a final score of 26-23 in favor of Detroit.
Turnovers told the Story
It’s difficult enough to win a football game, and even more difficult when you lose the turnover battle. Detroit were yet to show any noticeable pass rush, let alone force any turnovers in their first two games of the season. Sunday against the Cardinals was a very different story. Detroit were able to intercept Kyler Murray three times (tying a career-high) and scored 10 points off the turnovers. 3 possessions ending abruptly with two resulting in Detroit points made all the difference.
T.J. Hockenson: Hockenson passed Eric Ebron and David Hill (4) for the 3rd-most games with 50+ rec yards by a TE in their first 2 seasons since 1950.
Adrian Peterson: AP surpassed Hall of Fame Running Back and Detroit’s own Barry Sanders (3,062) for the 7th-most rush attempts in NFL history.
DeAndre Hopkins: Hopkins has surpassed J.T. Smith (25) for the most Receptions by a Cardinals player through the first 3 games of a season since 1950.
Breaking Old Trends and Starting New Ones
The Detroit Lions were on a 11-game losing streak dating back to last season. Before Sunday, it looked all but certain that the team were going to extend it to 12 games. It was only the second time under head coach Matt Patricia, the Lions came from behind to win a game. Everyone in the organization will be pleased with this win, but having started 0-2, Detroit will need to string multiple wins together if they’re to fight for a wild card spot.
Big Game before the BYE
Detroit will host the New Orleans Saints in Week 4 before heading into their bye-week. This will no doubt be the season deciding game. Heading into the bye with a .500 record instead of being 1-3 is a massive difference, along with having a string of winnable football games after the bye. The NFC Wild Card spot is Detroit’s only realistic target after blowing two divisional games to start the season.
Enjoy this one Detroit fans, it was a good win.