Easy day for Palmer in Arizona’s 42-17 rout of Lions
DETROIT (AP) Carson Palmer threw only 14 passes, and the Arizona Cardinals still rolled to another high-scoring rout.
Palmer and the Cardinals took advantage of six Detroit turnovers on Sunday in a 42-17 victory over the Lions. Arizona had the ball for only 23:28 and ran 44 fewer plays than the Lions, but Detroit’s miscues turned this into a one-sided affair that had the home fans booing.
”Our offense didn’t put up any stats, because the defense kept giving them the ball at midfield,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said.
Palmer went 11 of 14 for 161 yards and three touchdowns, good for a quarterback rating of 154.2. His efficient day was in stark contrast to the Lions, who tied an NFL record with 70 pass attempts but never came close to mounting a rally. Matthew Stafford threw three interceptions and was pulled from the game in the third quarter, and Dan Orlovsky was picked off once after replacing him.
Ameer Abdullah fumbled twice in the first half for the Lions, losing one, and then he didn’t have another carry the rest of the game. Golden Tate also lost a fumble for Detroit.
”This isn’t on Matt. This is a collective failure by all of us,” Tate said. ”I know that the fans and the media are going to attack Matt, but we are all responsible for this. We made some bad plays, and instead of coming back to make some good ones, we just let it snowball. That’s on all of us.”
The Lions (0-5) remain the league’s only winless team, while Arizona (4-1) took a two-game lead in the NFC West. The Cardinals have surpassed 40 points three times this season.
Here are a few things we learned from Arizona’s blowout win:
IMPRESSIVE DRIVE: Although the Cardinals didn’t need much yardage from their offense, Arizona still showed it could move the ball quickly. While the game was still competitive, the Lions pinned the Cardinals back at their 1 with a punt, but Arizona needed only five plays to go the length of the field. Palmer threw a 49-yard pass to John Brown, and Chris Johnson later broke free for a 40-yard run. David Johnson scored on a 2-yard run to make it 21-7 in the second quarter.
BACKUP: The Lions don’t view Orlovsky as a long-term solution at quarterback. Orlovsky, who had not attempted a pass since 2012, went 21 of 38 for 191 yards with a touchdown and an interception, but Detroit coach Jim Caldwell made it clear Stafford is still his starter.
”There will be no issues there,” Caldwell said. ”So there’s no quarterback controversy or anything of that nature. But I know one thing, we’ve got to get better. This was poor, just not the kind of outing we’d like to see around here.”
GROUND GAME: The Cardinals can be as efficient running as they are passing. Chris Johnson had 103 yards on 11 carries, and Arizona rushed for 187 yards on 25 carries as a team. Detroit, on the other hand, had only 57 yards on 18 carries and went almost exclusively to the air after a while.
SENDING A MESSAGE: Stafford’s benching was the bigger story, but Caldwell also showed the rookie Abdullah that turnovers won’t be tolerated.
”Sure, anytime you put the ball on the ground, obviously, your chances of being able to play for us consistently are going to be minimized,” Caldwell said.
RUMBLING: Cory Redding, Arizona’s 318-pound defensive end, has a bit of grace in his game. He returned a second-quarter interception 30 yards to the Detroit 4 and tried to hurdle Stafford at the end. He was brought down short of the end zone.
”What was that? Did he try to hurdle Stafford and get tackled? That was awful,” teammate Tyrann Mathieu said. ”You can’t get tackled by a quarterback. We definitely will be working on that.”
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This story has been updated to clarify Lions are 0-5.