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ANY GIVEN SUNDAY!!!
In a game where the Detroit Lions were already slated by many to lose before the season started, they managed to pull off a convincing upset victory over the potential playoff contender, the Arizona Cardinals, 30-12, to secure their second victory of the season.
In this David vs. Goliath matchup, the Lions played spoilers to keep the Cardinals from securing their playoff spot and put together one of the complete games from this squad in quite some time. The offense string drives together with a strong rushing attack and an efficient aerial assault. The defense brought relentless pressure and shutdown coverage, and special teams were the cherry on top of this delicious sundae.
Typically I come away with the studs and duds after the game. But this week after taking down one of the top teams in the NFL, we will stay positive and highlight the good that came away from this week’s victory.
Jared Goff showed strong pocket presence and had strong throws, especially with his touchdown throws to Josh Reynolds and Amon-Ra St. Brown. It was going so well he found Jason Cabinda for the first touchdown of his career. Speaking of St. Brown, the rookie has become Goff’s favorite target seeing a team-high eleven passes his way catching eight for 90 yards and a touchdown.
Goff to St. Brown for the 37-yard TD! #OnePride
— NFL (@NFL) December 19, 2021
The offensive line put together a very strong effort keeping Goff clean and imposing their will on the Cardinal’s defensive line opening up lanes for the rushing onslaught from Craig Reynolds. Last week, Reynolds nearly eclipsed 100 yards but came up short. Reynolds would not be denied against Arizona, recording 112 yards on the ground giving the Lions every reason to keep him even when D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams return.
The only @Lions to rush for 75+ yards in each of their first two games with the team:
— Detroit Lions PR (@LionsPR) December 19, 2021
A couple of low lights on the Lions offense was Brock Wright and Godwin Igwebuike. Wright missed a couple of his assignments, including the St. Brown touchdown, but Goff was able to step up and deliver a beautiful touch pass. Igwebuike fumbled the ball away when the Lions were driving, which could’ve ended up shifting momentum in the Cardinals favor.
Shifting to the defensive side of the ball, Aaron Glenn is making his case to be a strong head coach candidate in the upcoming season. With quite a few key players missing, he can put together a strong game plan and get the most out of each one of them. When you have Will Harris playing cornerback, and it wasn’t the kiss of death like everyone thought it would, you have some high praise.
The Cardinals did have a couple of big gains on the ground, but all in all, the defensive line was able to contain them for the most part and contained Kyler Murray limiting his effectiveness. The one who got the better of Murray was Charles Harris, who managed to make Murray’s life a long one this week after sacking him 1.5 times while leading the team in 12 tackles and three for loss.
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) December 19, 2021
The Lions coverage unit keeps the Cardinals’ aerial attack ineffective with only 293 yards between Murray and Colt McCoy. Jalen Reeves-Maybin was playing like his hair was on fire, batting down two passes and leading the Lions defense after Alex Anzalone went down. After Igwebuike, Amani Orwuyarie was able to turn the tides around, picking off Murray and nearly returning it himself but set up Cabinda’s touchdown instead.
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) December 19, 2021
Knock on wood, but the Lions might have found their kicker in Riley Patterson. He had another perfect day hitting all six of his kicks, three field-goal attempts, and three extra-point attempts. Punter Jack Fox did what Fox always does and was able to flip the field in the Lions favor pinning the Cardinals deep. Also, the coverage was able to keep the returns attempt to a minimum.
As you can see, there were strong contributions from every part of the team that played roles in the win this week. Dan Campbell and his team can get the most of their players and put up a fight no matter what who they play against. Draft position aside, it is amazing to see the Lions come out on top of this one and pull off a very convincing victory.