Second-year linebacker Jarrad Davis continued his streak of improving play in Sunday's 17-3 win over the Cardinals. He was the best Lions defender in the first half — when Detroit held Arizona to 73 yards and no points — leading his team with five tackles, including a sack and 6-yard tackle-for-loss. Davis showed great body control in high-speed pursuit situations and finished with seven tackles and a pass breakup, a devastating second-quarter hit to jar the ball loose from Cardinals running back David Johnson.
More defensive stars
Davis wasn't the only member of Detroit's defense to put together an impressive day in Arizona. The whole unit put together a strong game from start to finish: It held Johnson to just 49 yards on the ground; Josh Rosen was sacked three times; and Darius Slay had Detroit's winning score with a third-quarter interception returned for a touchdown. The Lions' defense stymied the Cardinals at almost every important moment, stopping Arizona on third down at a 62.5-percent clip. Even Rosen's modest stat line is a little misleading, as 122 of his 240 yards passing were picked up in the fourth quarter with the Lions playing prevent defense.
Offensive woes continue
Now the bad news: The Lions' offense was tough to watch — again. Matthew Stafford was 15-for-23 through the air and averaged 6.7 yards per completion for a total of 101 passing yards. But it's hard to point the finger at Stafford for those numbers. All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson stuck on Kenny Golladay like glue, and with Bruce Ellington exiting the game with a hamstring injury, there was even less talent to work with than usual. Of course, the lack of creativity in Detroit's play-calling didn't help, either. LeGarrette Blount was Detroit's premier ball-carrier for most of the game, and outside of runs of 12 and 14 yards on Detroit's opening drive, was relatively ineffective. He was either stopped for no gain or lost yardage on 50 percent of his other 10 carries. The only bright spot for Detroit's offense was the reemergence of Zach Zenner, who carried the ball seven times for 43 yards and a touchdown on the Lions' only touchdown drive.
The Lions paid a hefty price for their 17-3 win over the Cardinals Sunday, and it'll show on Monday's injury report. Defensive linemen Ziggy Ansah (shoulder) and rookie Da'Shawn Hand (knee) were carted to the locker room with first-quarter injuries and did not return. Both linemen were injured on consecutive plays. The Lions also lost two more members of their offense: Offensive lineman Rick Wagner was forced to leave the game in the second quarter with a concussion and Bruce Ellington exited with a hamstring injury.