Detroit Lions shock the NFL leading Arizona Cardinals with 30-12 win at Ford Field.. Jared Goff didn’t hesitate this week when asked what the Detroit Lions still had to play for with four games left in another forgettable season.
“Pride,” Goff said, adding, “Being spoiler sometimes is fun. You don’t hope you have to be that way, but that’s kind of the role we’re in now.”
The Lions played spoiler in a big way Sunday, turning in their most inspired performance of the season to beat the Arizona Cardinals, 30-12, at Ford Field.
Goff threw three touchdown passes in arguably his best game of the season, Craig Reynolds ran for 112 yards in his first career start and the Lions’ short-handed defense dominated MVP candidate Kyler Murray.
The Lions opened the game with a tone-setting 15-play, 63-yard drive that chewed 8 minutes and 50 seconds off the clock, and never let up against a Cardinals team that could have clinched a playoff spot with a win.
Instead, Arizona fell to 10-4 and now risks dropping out of first place in the NFC West.
The Lions, 2-11-1, won for the second time in three weeks after starting the season 0-10-1. They no longer have control of the No. 1 pick in next spring’s draft. The Jacksonville Jaguars, who lost to the Houston Texans on Sunday, now have the league’s worst record at 2-12.
The Lions scored on three of their first five possessions Sunday and kept Arizona’s high-powered offense off the scoreboard in the first half.
Goff, who improved to 8-1 against the Cardinals in his career — and 8-0 since his rookie season — threw touchdown passes of 37 and 22 yards to Amon-Ra St. Brown and Josh Reynolds in the first half as the Lions built a 17-0 halftime lead.
The Lions, playing without D’Andre Swift, Jamaal Williams and T.J. Hockenson, outgained Arizona, 238 yards to 84 in the first half, but threatened to come undone early in the third quarter.
Murray led the Cardinals on a long field-goal drive to start the second half, and Godwin Igwebuike lost his second fumble in his many weeks on the ensuing possession.
But Amani Oruwariye made a diving interception on a Murray pass to A.J. Green two plays later and returned the turnover to the Arizona 6.
Goff threw his third touchdown pass of the day one play later, to fullback Jason Cabinda.
Goff finished 21 of 26 passing for 216 yards. He took three roughing-the-passer penalties and had a passer rating of 139.7.
Craig Reynolds, a COVID-19 replacement from the practice squad for Williams, played workhorse in the Lions backfield with 26 carries for 112 yards, and St. Brown (eight catches, 90 yards) and Josh Reynolds (6-68) had big days receiving for the Lions.
Murray was 23 of 41 passing for 257 yards. The Cardinals, owners of the NFL’s fourth-highest scoring offense entering the week, scored their only touchdown on a 26-yard Murray pass to Christian Kirk with 4:40 to play.