Lowly Lions hand Cardinals first road loss of NFL season
Los Angeles (AFP) – The Detroit Lions stunned Arizona 30-12 on Sunday, putting the Cardinals' NFL playoff aspirations on hold for just a bit longer.
Issued on: Modified:
Arizona entered the contest tied for the best record in the league, but for the second straight week they were unable to get a win to lock up their first post-season berth since 2015.
Instead, they lost back-to-back games for the first time in 2021 as they lost on the road for the first time in this campaign.
Detroit, who came into the game with the worst record in the league, started fast and held on.
Quarterback Jared Goff threw for three touchdowns, running back Craig Reynolds surpassed 100 rushing yards and a Detroit defense depleted by injury and Covid-19 kept the prolific Cardinals offense out of the end zone until the fourth quarter.
Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray completed 23 of 41 passes for 257 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
The Cards were trailing by 15 when he connected with Christian Kirk from 26 yards out with 4:40 remaining.
Arizona failed to complete a two-point conversion and were also unable to recover the ensuing onside kick, setting the stage for Detroit to close out the scoring with a field goal.
Detroit had opened the game with a 63-yard drive capped by a field goal.
In the second quarter, Goff connected with rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown on a 37-yard touchdown pass and with Josh Reynolds on a 22-yard TD as the Lions took a 17-0 lead at halftime.
Two Cardinals field goals in the third quarter came around Goff's touchdown throw to Jason Cabinda that kept Detroit firmly in control.
The Lions notched just their second win of the season against 11 defeats and one tie. Any pleasure they had in playing spoiler -- at least temporarily -- to Arizona's playoff hopes may have been tempered by the fact that the victory, along with Jacksonville's 30-16 loss to the Houston Texans, put the Jaguars in position to claim the top pick in the next NFL draft.
The Jags, playing their first game since coach Urban Meyer was fired before he could complete his first season in charge, could wind up with the top pick for the second year in a row.
In other early games, Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger connected on 16 of 25 passing attempts for 148 yards in a 19-13 win over the Tennessee Titans and moved into fifth place all-time on the career passing yardage list.
He finished the day with 63,562 passing yards, passing former Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers.
The Dallas Cowboys moved closer to clinching a playoff berth with a 21-6 victory over NFC East division rivals the New York Giants.
The Cowboys could be assured of the division title on Tuesday if the Washington Football Team fall to the Philadelphia Eagles in one of the weekend's three games that were postponed because of Covid-19.
© 2021 AFP