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It was a long time coming for Dan Campbell and the Detroit Lions. The team played its best, most complete game across all three phases of the matchup with the Arizona Cardinals in Sunday’s shocking 30-12 win in Ford Field.
Getting the offense, defense and special teams all playing well at the same time is something Detroit has struggled to do for several years. On Sunday, Campbell’s crew finally pulled it off despite myriad injuries and COVID-19 absences.
Campbell mentioned it in his opening statement after the game.
“That was fun. So proud of our guys,” Campbell stated. “We knew what we had to do today and we did it, really in all three phases across the board. The minute it felt like something may go the wrong way, we were able to tilt it back into our favor. I was proud of those guys, golly. We showed next-man-up mentality. The next man up did a good job today across the board. But as a team, man I was proud of them.”
“I mean, how we played the game today is how we talked about playing it all week, left tackle Taylor Decker said after the game. “You know we’ve had spurts of where the defense will do what they need to do but then maybe the offense doesn’t, or the offense will, you know whatever. Special teams has been pretty damn good all year. But we just played a complete game. We wanted to dictate how the game was played. When we were able to start fast, we were able to do that.”
Fullback Jason Cabinda, who scored his first career touchdown, echoed the same sentiment.
“I think today was really a complete effort. We played well on special teams, we went out and covered punts, covered kicks, “Cabinda said. “Our defense held up so well. That’s an explosive offense. You guys see how many points they put up week in and week out. They got in the red zone and had to kick field goals, that was huge for us.
We kept them off the field because our offense was churning out first downs and keeping the ball, keeping possessions. We were running the ball really well. Craig (Reynolds) was running his freaking butt off. It was just a really good combination of a great team effort.”
Quarterback Jared Goff sang a similar refrain. Goff had an outstanding game, completing 21 of his 26 pass attempts, throwing three TDs and he did not turn the ball over once.
“It was a full-team win, a full-team win,” Goff said proudly. “All of the times we’ve talked about it this whole year, what it looks like, what it looks like, that’s what it looks like. We make a mistake, we have a fumble, Amani (Oruwariye) makes an interception and almost takes it back to the house, we score on the next play. That’s how good teams win in this league and we put it on display in all three phases today.”