- Josh Weinfuss, ESPN Staff Writer
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What it means: A lot. Despite the win, the Cardinals offense looked lackluster, scoring just two touchdowns and stalling at crucial times. Granted, starting tight end Rob Housler was out again and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald was hampered by a hamstring injury, but the offense couldn’t put the ball in the end zone. It moved the ball well in between the 20s but not when it mattered most.
Stock watch: Kerry Taylor was promoted from the practice squad Saturday afternoon and proved he’s worthy of a roster spot with 40 yards on three catches. He helped fill the void left by Fitzgerald, who sat out most of the second half with a hamstring injury. Rookie running back Andre Ellington also made a name for himself with a 36-yard touchdown reception and a crucial run late in the fourth quarter, as he made his case to be the Cards’ No. 2 running back.
Third-down blues: The Cardinals couldn’t convert a third down unless it was with the aid of a penalty. They were 1-for-11 on third down. This was an issue last week in St. Louis, and coach Bruce Arians said he was confident his team would improved on third down. A combination of incomplete passes and plays that came up short prevented the Cardinals from obtaining a new set of downs.
Defensive standard: Without the defense, the Cardinals could’ve thrown in the towel early in the third. The defense held Detroit to 13 yards in the third quarter, giving the offense a chance to score. The Cardinals held on third down twice and limited Lions QB Matthew Stafford to 0-for-4 passing in the quarter.
What's next: The Cardinals have a week to figure out their third-down issues before they travel to New Orleans to take on the Saints next Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.