Jared Goff, Lions Dominant in Upset of Kyler Murray, Cardinals for 2nd Win of Season

Adam WellsDecember 19, 2021

Teammates congratulate Detroit Lions wide receiver Josh Reynolds (8) after his touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Lon Horwedel)
AP Photo/Lon Horwedel

The race for the NFC West is suddenly a lot more interesting after the Arizona Cardinals were stunned in a 30-12 loss to the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Sunday. 

Since starting the season 7-0, the Cardinals have dropped four of their last seven games. They could fall into a tie atop the division standings if the Los Angeles Rams beat the Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday. 

Notable Game Stats

  • Kyler Murray, QB (AZ): 23-of-41, 257 yards, TD, INT; 4 carries, 3 yards
  • Chase Edmonds, RB (AZ): 6 carries, 53 yards
  • Christian Kirk, WR (AZ): 9 receptions, 94 yards, TD
  • Jared Goff, QB (DET): 21-of-26, 216 yards, 3 TD
  • Craig Reynolds, RB (DET): 26 carries, 112 yards; 1 reception, 5 yards
  • Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR (DET): 8 receptions, 90 yards, TD

Nothing is going right for head coach Kliff Kingsbury's squad at the moment. Their offense had 74 total yards with three punts, one turnover on downs and a kneel down in five possessions in the first half. 

Kyler Murray had another interception today giving him six in his last five games played. 

The Cardinals did start to move the ball in the second half. Their first possession in the third quarter gained nearly as many yards (64) in the first half, but the Lions held them to a field goal. 

Arizona's defense, which entered today ranked fourth in points allowed per game (19.4), got dissected by Jared Goff. The Lions quarterback tied his season high with three touchdown passes. 

Detroit Lions @Lions

.<a href="https://twitter.com/JaredGoff16?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JaredGoff16</a> to <a href="https://twitter.com/amonra_stbrown?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@amonra_stbrown</a> for the touchdown‼️<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AZvsDET?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AZvsDET</a> | 📺 FOX <a href="https://t.co/89gOT2SU0C">pic.twitter.com/89gOT2SU0C</a>

Even though the Cardinals offense found a spark in the second half, the unit was never entirely cohesive. 

Trailing 27-6 early in the fourth quarter, Murray found Antoine Wesley in front of the end zone on 4th-and-6 for what would have been a 30-yard touchdown, but Wesley only got one foot inbounds. 

After the defense forced a punt on Detroit's ensuing possession, Murray put together his best drive of the game to get the Cardinals into the end zone. He completed seven of 11 attempts for 75 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown to Christian Kirk. 


Kyler to Kirk closes the gap. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RedSea?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#RedSea</a><br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AZvsDET?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AZvsDET</a> on FOX<br>📱: NFL app <a href="https://t.co/CMoG1mnSE7">pic.twitter.com/CMoG1mnSE7</a>

There was only 4:46 remaining in the fourth quarter at the time of that score. Kingsbury burned all three of his timeouts on the Lions' next possession, but a 13-yard pass interference penalty against Marco Wilson on 3rd-and-7 gave Detroit a first down. 

Riley Patterson capped off Detroit's drive with a 45-yard field goal to extend the lead to 30-12 with 2:46 left to play. Kingsbury waived the white flag at that point by inserting McCoy at quarterback to run out the clock. 

There was a question of what the Cardinals would look like on offense without DeAndre Hopkins. The star wideout is expected to miss the remainder of the regular season to have surgery on a sprained knee, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport

Hopkins suffered the injury during Arizona's 30-23 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Monday. 

Kirk did have a season-high nine catches for 94 yards and a score. A.J. Green was targeted eight times but only managed 64 yards on four receptions. 

Arizona's offensive line isn't helping matters. Murray was hit four times and sacked twice in the loss. 

Benjamin Solak @BenjaminSolak

The Cardinals just went for two down 15 with less than 5 minutes left and got Kyler Murray absolutely obliterated. Kliff is exactly who we thought he was.

Things are only going to get tougher for the Cardinals offensive line with games against the Indianapolis Colts and Dallas Cowboys in the next two weeks. 

The Lions appear to have found something at running back with Craig Reynolds. The 25-year-old had a career-high 112 rushing yards on 26 carries on Sunday after racking up 83 yards on 11 carries last week against the Denver Broncos. 

Since going winless in the first 11 games, head coach Dan Campbell's team has now won two of their last three. There's still a lot of work to be done in this Lions rebuild, but he seems to have complete buy-in for the process from this roster.