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Recap: Lions pull off shocking upset of Cardinals, 30-12

Nolan Bianchi
The Detroit News

Well that was fun, eh?

The Detroit Lions welcomed the league's best road team into Ford Field on Sunday and thrashed the NFC West-leading Arizona Cardinals, 30-12, behind 112 rushing yards from Craig Reynolds and three touchdown passes for Jared Goff, who threw for 216 yards on 21-for-26 passing with no interceptions.

Lions add FG, shut down Cardinals to end game

The Lions recover an onside kick from the Cardinals.

The Lions force Arizona into using all three timeouts, while picking up a first down via pass interference on the Cards.

Riley Patterson tacks on a 45-yard field goal to his day, as the Lions go up 30-12.

Lions 30, Cardinals 12 (2:46 4th)

Colt McCoy has subbed in at quarterback for the Cardinals.

The Cardinals reach the red zone, but don't get further than that. Game over!

FINAL: Lions 30, Cardinals 12 

Cardinals add TD, trail by 15 in 4Q

Arizona takes over at its own 13, trailing by 21.

They move the chains with receptions of 5 and 7 yards, then reach the 37 with a 12-yard run by Chase Edmonds. The Cardinals move it to the 50 with a third-down conversion, then Kyler Murray hits Zach Ertz with a 13-yard gain to the 37 of Detroit. 

A.J. Parker makes a nice play to keep Ertz from catching a pass in the end zone, but Christian Kirk hauls one in on the next play.

Jalen Reeves-Maybin bats away Kyler Murray's pass on the two-point attempt.

Lions 27, Cardinals 12 (4:40 4th)

Lions forced to punt after turnover on downs

Arizona takes over at its own 31, needing a score.

Kyler Murray's first two passes are incomplete, but Will Harris is tagged with a pass interference call on third down to make it first-and-10 at the 50.

A screen to James Conner goes for 16 yards. Detroit then forces third-and-6, an incompletion, and the fourth-down throw to Antoine Wesley in the end zone is caught, but it's ruled that he's out of bounds. 

Turnover on downs. Woo-wee.

Lions 27, Cardinals 6 (11:29 4th)

The Lions take over at their own 30.

Craig Reynolds takes off for a 16-yard run to the Detroit 46, then pounds ahead for 5 more on the next play.

The Lions are stuffed on third-and-4 for a loss of 3, and they'll punt. 

Jack Fox's punt is fair caught at the 13.

Lions 27, Cardinals 6 (7:48 4th)

Lions extend lead in 4Q with FG

Detroit takes over at its own 25, leading 24-6.

Two short runs by Craig Reynolds set up third-and-4, where Jared Goff's pass is caught for a gain of 6 by Josh Reynolds.

The Cardinals are then flagged for their third roughing-the-passer penalty. He's getting abused today. Nevertheless, it's first-and-10 at the Arizona 47.

After Reynolds runs for 8, he puts a nasty move on a couple Cardinals defenders to reverse field and reach the Arizona 31 for another gain of 8.

END 3RD: Lions 24, Cardinals 6 

A holding penalty on second-and-9 makes it second-and-19. After a second-down incompletion, the Lions pick up 11 to give their field goal kicker a chance.

Riley Patterson's 47-yard kick is money.

Lions 27, Cardinals 6 (13:15 4th)

Cardinals chip into deficit with another FG

Arizona takes over at its own 17, trailing 24-3.

Kyler Murray starts the drive with a 20-yard completion to Zach Ertz. After Christian Kirk drops a pass on second-and-9, Murray makes a miracle throw to A.J. Green for a 19-yard completion that gives Arizona first-and-10 at the Detroit 43.

Chase Edmunds goes up the gut for 6 on the next play, and Green comes up with a 27-yard reception on third-and-4 to give Arizona first-and-goal at the 10.

James Conner rushes for 3, but the Cardinals lose that yardage on an errant snap that ends up a 4-yard loss. A third-down incompletion forces another field goal.

Matt Prater's 29-yard attempt is good.

Lions 24, Cardinals 6 (3:54 3rd)

Lions, Cardinals trade turnovers as Detroit takes 24-3 lead

Detroit takes over at its own 25 after the Cardinals touchdown, leading 17-3.

Craig Reynolds runs it three straight times to give Detroit a first down at the 37. Shane Zylstra hauls in a 16-yard pass, but Godwin Igwebuike fumbles on the next play. It's Arizona's ball at its own 44.

Lions 17, Cardinals 3 (9:49 3rd)

But the Lions get it right back with an Amani Oruwariye interception on the second play of the drive. Oruwariye returns it to Arizona's 6-yard-line, and that's a huge momentum swing.

Jason Cabinda hauls in the 6-yard touchdown reception on the very next play to put Detroit up three scores.

Lions 24, Cardinals 3 (8:10 3rd)

Cardinals cut into Detroit's lead to start 3Q

The Cardinals take over at their own 25 to start the half.

James Conner immediately breaks a 22-yard run to the Arizona 47, where it'll be first-and-10.

Conner then moves the chains with a 3-yard gain on third-and-1 on the next set of downs. It's first-and-10 at the Detroit 41.

Chase Edmonds picks up 23 yards on his first-down carry, reaching the Detroit 18. Edmonds then gets 6 more, then 1, to bring up third-and-3. Kyler Murray's fade to A.J. Green falls incomplete.

Matt Prater gets Arizona on the board with a 29-yard field goal.

Lions 17, Cardinals 3 (11:22 3rd)

Lions get goal line stop, taking 17-0 lead before halftime

Arizona takes over at its own 39, and quickly gets moving downfield.

Completions of 24 and 10 yards help get the Cardinals to the 22, where it'll be first-and-10. A screen pass to James Conner gets Arizona to the 6, a gain of 15.

The Lions force third-and-goal from the 3, and Amani Oruwariye comes up with a pass breakup in the end zone. Kyler Murray's fourth-down pass is broken up by A.J. Parker.

Turnover on downs.

Lions 10, Cardinals 0 (1:59 2nd)

The Lions get out of the shadow of their end zone with a 14-yard pass to Josh Reynolds, supplemented by a roughing the passer penalty to make it first-and-10 at the 33. Then Jared Goff hits Amon-Ra St. Brown for a 14-yard gain, which draws another roughing the passer penalty.

Tim Boyle comes in for a play after Goff goes down, but Goff comes right back out for second-and-9 at the Arizona 36, where the throw to St. Brown falls incomplete.

An 8-yard completion on third down sets up fourth-and-1.

Timeout #1 Detroit (0:31 2nd)

The conversion is successful, a 6-yard completion completion to St. Brown. 

Josh Reynolds comes up with a 22-yard touchdown pass on the very next play, and Detroit is up 17-0.

Lions 17, Cardinals 0 (0:19 2nd)

The Cardinals end the half with a QB kneel.

HALFTIME: Lions 17, Cardinals 0

Another third-down sack from Harris gets Lions off field

The Cardinals take over at their own 25, trailing 10-0.

A false start penalty makes it first-and-15. Jalen Reeves-Maybin bats the first-down pass at the line, but after a 14-yard gain on second down, Arizona moves the chains for the first time today with a short run on third down.

But after the Cardinals reach midfield, Charles Harris comes up with a third-down sack of Kyler Murray to get Detroit's defense off the field again.

Lions 10, Cardinals 0 (7:40 2nd)

The Lions don't get very far on offense, though, thanks to a holding penalty to start the drive.

Jack Fox's punt is returned to the Arizona 39.

Lions 10, Cardinals 0 (6:13 2nd)

Lions get another quick stop, punt from midfield

Arizona takes over at its own 25, trailing 10-0. 

A 5-yard run by James Conner on second down brings up third-and-5, where Charles Harris gets into the backfield and sacks Kyler Murray for a loss of 8.

Kalif Raymond returns the punt to Detroit's 38.

Lions 10, Cardinals 0 (13:16 2nd)

After a 7-yard carry on second down, Craig Reynolds gets another yard on third down. Their fourth-down play is preceded by a false start penalty, and they'll now punt it away.

Jack Fox's punt is returned to the 25.

Lions 10, Cardinals 0 (11:10 2nd)

Lions take 10-0 lead on St. Browns' TD 

Detroit takes over at its own 7, where the first-down pass is nearly picked off. Godwin Igwebuike takes the third-down screen pass for a gain of 13 that gives Detroit first-and-10 at the 25.

Jared Goff turns second-and-10 into third-and-5, where the handoff to Craig Reynolds goes for 27 yards to the Arizona 43. This dude is balling. 

Jermar Jefferson then rushes the ball for 6 yards, bringing the first quarter to a close.

END 1ST: Lions 3, Cardinals 0

One play later, Goff fakes the handoff, then floats the ball up top to Amon-Ra St. Brown for a 37-yard passing touchdown to put the Lions up 10.

Lions 10, Cardinals 0 (14:53 2nd)

Lions stuff Cardinals on opening drive

The Lions try for the onside kick after taking a 3-0 lead, but it fails. And they're penalized for illegal formation.

Charles Harris drags down Kyler Murray for no gain on first down. A 6-yard pass and false start penalty sets up third-and-9, where Harris drops Rondale Moore for a loss of 1.

The ensuing punt is downed at the 7.

Lions 3, Cardinals 0 (3:42 1st)

Long drive to open game gives Lions 3-0 lead

The Cardinals have won the toss, and elect to defer. It'll be Lions' ball first.

Detroit takes over at the 18. Jared Goff is sacked for a loss of 4 on the game's first play. Craig Reynolds, getting his first-career start, carries for 10 to set up third-and-4, where Goff is able to hit Amon-Ra St. Brown for a gain of 4 to move the chains.

Goff goes back to St. Brown, and later hands to Reynolds on third-and-5 for a 7-yard carry that gives Detroit another first down at the 40.

A throw to Kalif Raymond picks up 15, moving Detroit into Arizona territory at the 45.

Another run and throw gives Detroit a first down at the 34.

Josh Reynolds moves Detroit to the Arizona 21 with a 13-yard reception. It's quickly third-and-8 after Detroit's next two plays, where a 5-yard pickup sets up fourth-and-3.

After faking a fourth-down attempt, Riley Patterson puts home a 37-yard field goal.

Lions 3, Cardinals 0 (6:10 1st)


The good news for the Detroit Lions: They're getting healthier.

The bad news: The Arizona Cardinals are getting pressured.

While Detroit suffered a beatdown from Denver last week with nearly half of its roster out due to a COVID and flu outbreak, Arizona took one of its only defeats of the season on Monday night in a pivotal NFC West matchup against Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams.

A high sense of urgency should be traveling with the Cardinals (10-3) to Ford Field this Sunday, where the battered Lions (1-11-1) are simply looking to get out of the 2021 season without anymore injuries.

More: Lions get boost from returning linebackers; Jackson and Walker inactive

Cardinals at Lions

► Kickoff: 1 p.m., Sunday, Ford Field

► TV/radio: Fox/97.1

► Records: Lions 1-11-1, Cardinals 10-3

► Line: Arizona by 11.5