One Last Look: Cardinals at Lions

The Cardinals escaped Detroit with a win and a bruised ego. And while it's seemingly unproductive to harp on the negative, there are some observations that still need to be made about the Cardinals-Lions matchup. Why couldn't Arizona's defense walk and chew bubblegum at the same time? Why did two Lions players post their best games against the Super Bowl runner-ups? These observations and more.

Cardinals defense couldn't walk and chew bubblegum at the same time…

The Cardinals faced Chris Johnson and Adrian Peterson in back-to-back weeks but couldn't manage to shutdown eight-year back Maurice Morris who rushed for 126 yards and a touchdown last Sunday. Morris entered the game with dismal stats. He rushed for a season-high 63 yards against the St. Louis Rams but averaged about 12 yards a game against everyone else.

The Lions made some adjustments to their offensive line after the first half, but coach Jim Schwartz said the adjustments were made because of false starts and other errors but run blocking wasn't one of them.

The Cardinals were beat to the punch because they were so focused on stopping WR Calvin Johnson through the air that they forgot about any possible threats on the ground. Coach Schwartz said Sunday's game was the first time he's seen his passing game and running game compliment one another.

Cardinals offense couldn't hang with LB Ernie Sims

Ernie Sims took care of the Cardinals offensive line in his first full game back after a shoulder and a hamstring injury. Coach Schwartz thought Sims made some big hits for the Lions and did a really good job in coverage. Sims played a big role in the Lions ability to pressure Warner who was forced to throw the ball away a number of times due to Sims' coverage. Sims marks another Lions player to have one of his best games of the year against the Super Bowl runner-ups.

Block that kick…

The Lions nearly did. Detroit understood the volatility of the Cardinals new place kicker getting added mid-week and sent in an all-out rush on one extra point attempt. The Lions got a hand on it.

Do the Cardinals really think the Lions are better than their record?

Many Cardinals players were quick to say that the Lions are a much better team than their two wins would suggest. Whether that's a cop out, or they truly believe that, is up for debate. But here's what a coulple of them had to say…

WR Anquan Boldin: "I don't know if they surprised us. They're a lot better than what their record says. You can't look at them and say they're 2-11 and you can do whatever you want against them. They have a lot of players on that side of the field and they are a lot better than what their record is."

DT Darnell Dockett: "At the end of the day we want to win ballgames and despite what their record is and what our record is, you are trying to get a win. They played well. We have to take our hat off to them. We gave them hope and they kept fighting, and that's what you expect."?


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