Detroit, MI- It was the battle of the best two teams in the NFL, both teams ranked first and second in defense. The matchup didn’t disappoint, but unfortunately Lions’ fans were disappointed as the Lions’ snapped their four-game winning streak to the Arizona Cardinals 14-6 on Sunday evening. Cardinals’ quarterback and former MSU standout Drew Stanton threw two touchdown passes to receiver Malcolm Floyd in the first half and the Cardinals defense made life miserable for Lions’ quarterback Matthew Stafford all game. Lions’ receiver Calvin Johnson had five catches for 59 yards, but only had one catch for four yards in the first half. Johnson was defended by All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson, and Peterson showed why he is the league’s highest-paid defensive back.
The Lions’ who were without running back Reggie Bush and Joique Bell did all they could to develop some sort of offense that was lacking all game. The Lions were only in the red zone once and that was after a Stanton interception by Cassius Vaughn. “When you only score six points, you won’t win many football games,” Stafford said after the loss.
Stanton who is in for Carson Palmer after Palmer tore his ACL last week is now 3-1 as the starting quarterback this year. He was good enough as he went 21-32 for 306 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. The Cardinals were also on the receiving end of questionable calls by the officiating crew. One such instance happened in the fourth quarter in what looked like a long punt return for Jeremy Ross that was deep in Cardinals’ territory.
The play was overturned when the officials saw that the Cardinals’ punt team downed the ball at the one yard line, despite the fact that the player who downed the ball actually tapped it back for a teammate to down it. The spot of the ball was also in question as there were numerous times the Lions were on the bad end of some bad spots. The Cardinals were able to ice the game when the refs gave Larry Fitzgerald a first down on third down with under two minutes left. The Lions looked as if they tackled Fitzgerald a yard short of the first down, but they claimed the ball crossed the first down marker. The loss drops the Lions to 7-3 on the season and cuts their lead in the NFC North to one game over the Green Bay Packers, who won earlier in the day against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Cardinals’ are now an NFL best 9-1 and are a lock to win the NFC West over favorites Seattle and San Francisco. Before the start of the game, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians stated that the team: “can win the Super Bowl with Drew Stanton as our quarterback”.
The Lions next face the New England Patriots at Foxboro and then have a short week after that to face the Chicago on Thanksgiving Day. The Patriots are one of the hottest teams in the NFL after a slow start and quarterback Tom Brady has never lost to Detroit in his career. The Lions’ are not sure if Reggie Bush will be available for Sunday’s game as he continues to rest an injured ankle that has been plaguing him all season.