It's good to be a Cardinals fan, right? The Arizona Cardinals got another big win, defeating the Detroit Lions soundly on Sunday, 42-17. It was not pretty for the Lions, who actually benched Matthew Stafford in the game. Let's look at some of the key stats in the big win.
The Cardinals defense forced six turnovers. After losing to the Rams behind three turnovers they gave away, the defense was a force. Rashad Johnson forced three of them, picking off a pair of passes and forcing a fumble. If you get six turnovers, it better be a big win.
The Lions ran 89 plays. 89! That's insane. The Cardinals only ran 45. They were a model of offensive efficiency after the first quarter.
Third downs were a different story for both teams. Detroit was actually pretty good, although six of those Lions third down conversions were after Dan Orlovsky entered the game and the Cardinals were already up 35-7. Arizona, though, was not as good. They were only 1/5 with with Carson Palmer in the game. They were much better on first and second down, obviously, but they will need to do better on third down if they wish to continue to have success offensively.
The Cardinals offensive exploded for eight plays of 15 yards or more. They had five rushing plays of at least 10 yards.
The running game was good. They rushed for 187 yards as a team and averaged 7.5 yards per carry. We should note that includes four quarterback kneeldowns. Take those out and the team averaged 9.1 yards per carry. Chris Johnson passed the century mark. Andre Ellington had a 63-yard touchdown run. David Johnson had two touchdowns.
Carson Palmer had one of his most efficient performances of his career. His passer rating was 154.2 and he only had three incompletions. He threw for three touchdowns in his 11 completions.
The Cardinals defense only allowed 57 rushing yards and only 3.2 yards per carry. That is much better than against Todd Gurley.
With the win, Arizona improves to 4-1 on the season and 2-0 on the road. Not much to complain about.
The Cardinals have a two-game lead in the division. Let's keep it up.