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Cardinals 25, Lions 21

The SportsXchange

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- If Jay Feely was in Cardinals coach Bruce Arians' doghouse before Sunday's game against the Lions, the kicker is now inside on a cushy sofa with a fresh T-bone steak waiting for him.

Arians was none too pleased with Feely in the preseason, signing Dan Carpenter late in camp only to cut the new addition a few days later. And he wasn't happy with Feely in last week's season-opener, either, saying Feely performed "poor" in a loss at St. Louis with a missed field goal and two short kickoffs.

But Feely came through making four field goals on Sunday, connecting from 47, 23, 43 and 33 yards to help Arizona outlast Detroit 25-21 in front of a sellout crowd at University of Phoenix Stadium.

The Cardinals won the game on a 1-yard touchdown run from Rashard Mendenhall with 1:59 left to play. Arizona was facing a third-and-8 situation when Carson Palmer looked deep down the field for Andre Roberts. Cornerback Bill Bentley was flagged for pass interference on the play, setting the stage for Mendenhall's go-ahead score.

The Cardinals were trailing 21-19 and were without star receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who left the game in the second half while playing on a sore hamstring that limited in practice all week.

But they got contributions late from a handful of others, including tight end Jim Dray (five catches, 31 yards), Andre Roberts (three catches, 36 yards) and Kerry Taylor (three catches, 40 yards).

Palmer finished the day completing 22 of 39 passes for 248 yards and a touchdown.

Matthew Stafford was 24 of 36 for 278 yards and two touchdowns, both of which went to Calvin Johnson, who compiled six receptions for 116 yards.

Midway through the third quarter, it appeared the Cardinals were doomed.

Facing a third-and-four situation at the Lions' 38, Palmer dropped back and was immediately under a heavy pass rush. Instead of taking the sack, he threw a blind pass in the flat that was easily intercepted by linebacker Deandre Levy.

Levy returned the pick 66 yards for a touchdown and a 21-13 Lions' lead.

Detroit held a 14-10 lead at halftime thanks to Stafford connecting with Johnson.

The Cardinals were up 3-0 after Feely's 47-yard field goal, but three players later, Stafford found Johnson on a short pass and Johnson turned it up field, racing untouched for a 72-yard score.

Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby was in position to make an interception on the play, but he just missed and no one could track down Johnson after the catch.

Arizona countered with a six-play, 80-yard drive capped by Palmer's 36-yard pass to rookie running back Andre Ellington. But the Lions answered right back, marching 92 yards on 10 plays, which included a 21-yard catch and run by Reggie Bush.

Bush hurt his knee at the end of the play when he was tackled by Cardinals rookie safety Tony Jefferson, but he would return to the game.

Johnson, meanwhile, finished off the drive with a 3-yard touchdown catch, which was helped by Nate Burleson running a pick on cornerback Patrick Peterson. Burleson's defender, rookie Tyrann Mathieu, had nowhere to go on the play and Peterson was forced to backtrack around him, leaving Johnson open in the corner of the end zone.

NOTES: The Lions were without starting defensive tackle Nick Fairley (shoulder) and starting right tackle Jason Fox (groin). ... Detroit had lost in each of its previous six visits to Arizona and had dropped nine of the past 12 matchups overall. ... Sunday's sellout was the 76th consecutive sellout at University of Phoenix Stadium, including preseason and postseason games. ... After combining for 191 total yards of offense in last week's win over Minnesota, Bush was held to 25 rushing yards and 44 receiving yards on three receptions.
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