I intentionally did not write this yesterday as emotions ran too high for a proper analysis of the game. Today, though, nothing much has changed. For those who may have missed the game, the Detroit Lions were thoroughly embarrassed yesterday at home 42-17. The 17 part really should not matter given how the game went. The first two possessions told me all I needed to know. Detroit must have read my preview and decided that the game was over before it started.
Obviously I am joking as I am 100% confident that none of the players or coaches read my preview. Detroit started off on offense with a drive that resulted in a Matthew Stafford interception. The Detroit defense carried its momentum over from the Seattle game though and shut the Cardinals down. Their second possession was worse. Rookie running back and college fumble expert Ameer Abdullah fumbled away the ball, giving Detroit two turnovers on their first two possessions. The defense though once again held firm. The Lions proceeded to have their best drive of the game, with a nice 48 yard pass from Stafford to Corey Fuller. Stafford, who was sharp on the drive, hit Theo Riddick for a touchdown and just like that, Detroit led 7-0 despite their two early mistakes.
The Lions defense allowed the Cardinals to move the ball for the first time in the game in the second quarter, but unfortunately could not stop them and Carson Palmer completed a pass over Stephen Tulloch to his tight end for a touchdown to tie the game. Things proceeded to get worse from there. Detroit’s Abdullah returned a kickoff, made some nice moves, and fumbled the ball away. The Cardinals should have recovered but an Arizona players leg was barely out of bounds, giving the ball back to Detroit. It did not matter though. The rest of the game was a clinic on how to give the ball to the defense, be it with turnovers or punts. Stafford threw another interception on a screen pass, which is arguably the safest pass to throw. Former Lion defensive end Corey Redding intercepted it. On another drive, Golden Tate made a nice catch, then fumbled it back to Arizona. Arizona, of course, proceeded to score off those turnovers, and built up a 28-7 halftime lead. As if the misery was not bad enough, at one point TJ Jones, who was in on kickoff return in place of benched running back Abdullah, made a nice 62 yard punt return to get the ball deep into Cardinals territory. The perfect response to Detroit’s offense needing help. Unfortunately the Lions committed a penalty on the return, bringing the ball back from inside Arizona’s 30 to Detroit’s own 20.
The second half saw yet another Matthew Stafford interception, which led to him being benched for the rest of the game. Arizona scored in the third and fourth quarters, and Detroit backup Dan Orlovsky even got a touchdown pass. Orlovsky also contributed to the turnovers by throwing his own interception. Coach Jim Caldwell waived the white flag in the fourth quarter, before Orlovsky’s touchdown by kicking a 4th down field goal down 35-7.
In all, there was nothing good from the game. The Lions quarterbacks combined for 70 pass attempts. The Lions run game was pitiful at best. The defense which had appeared to get back on track surrendered 42 points. No one was immune to criticism. Going into next week’s match up against the Bears, Detroit can either win a game that should be an easy win, giving fans something to cheer for, or they can give up the season and shoot for 0-16 by losing to the Bears who are one of the worst teams in the NFL.