The Cardinals showed some trick plays and impressive chops to navigate a comeback against a much improved Detroit Lions team. Even better after falling short against the Rams, the Cards actually stepped up in the fourth quarter. Time to look at what factors helped propel the team to victory.
Rookies -- Tyrann Mathieu had key tackles and good coverage. Kerry Taylor made three catches, two for first downs. Andre Ellington averaged 5.0 per carry, led in receiving yards and scored his first career touchdown. Tony Jefferson saw significant playing time and showed decent ability. A large difference from the Ken Whisenhunt years.
Rashard Mendenhall -- 15 attempts for 66 yards doesn't sound like much. Consider two things, he accounted for about 30% of first downs and averaged 4.4 yards per carry. Had the team not been playing from behind and he carried 20 times he would have been looking close to 100 yards.
Run Defense -- With the exception of some big runs given by poor tackling the defense has looked strong against the run this season. Their weakest area on defense last year. Ronald Talley and Yeremiah Bell did well today in this area.
First half offense -- Two games where the offense comes out firing on all pistons and looks functional. No sacks, no turnovers. Palmer had a pocket and felt no pressure. Too bad this offense stays in the locker room.
Jay Feely - With the offense being anemic to touchdowns Feely proved his moxy going 4 for 4 on field goals while David Akers missed two. He will need to continue all season long if the Cardinals have any hope of winning more games.
More from Revenge of the Birds:
- Cardinals vs. Lions results: Key stats in the Arizona win
- Fitz gutted out most of game, was less than 80 percent
- Arians: 'Last week we didn't finish the game. This week we did.'
- Sunday Night Football open thread: Who do you hate more?
- Cards rally for win