Sunday, December 16, 2012
Wrap-up: Cardinals 38, Lions 10
By Mike Sando
Thoughts on the Arizona Cardinals' 38-10 victory over the Detroit Lions at University of Phoenix Stadium in Week 15:
What it means: The Cardinals bounced back from their 58-0 defeat at Seattle with a performance they could feel good about. Arizona has ended its losing streak after nine games. Tremendous defense and special teams carried the Cardinals to a blowout victory as they improved their record to 5-9. With St. Louis falling to 6-7-1, the Cardinals have at least a shot at claiming third in the NFC West this season.
What I liked: Arizona weathered shaky moments in the passing game when it would have been easy to expect another rough afternoon.
Rashad Johnson and Greg Toler had interceptions for touchdowns covering a combined 155 yards. Beanie Wells ran better than he has all season, particularly on a 31-yard touchdown run to close out scoring. Wells, sidelined for much of the season by a toe injury, finished with 17 carries for 67 yards and three scores.
The Cardinals beat up Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, reducing the Lions' offense to Calvin Johnson and not much else. Johnson finished with 10 receptions for 121 yards, but he did not score. Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson, who picked off a pass for the fourth game in a row, batted away one early attempt for Johnson. Peterson was not matched on Johnson play after play, however.
Arizona's special teams regained possession deep in Lions territory, setting up touchdown drives covering 5 and 3 yards. Jay Feely added a 51-yard field goal.
What I didn't like: The passing game remained severely limited. Rookie Ryan Lindley threw an early pick. He completed 14 of 21 passes for 104 yards with no touchdowns and a 58.4 NFL passer rating. So, while the outcome was everything Arizona wanted, the quarterback situation appears no better.
What's next: The Cardinals are home against Chicago in Week 16 before closing out their season at San Francisco.