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Lions vs Cardinals: What Just Happened?

A collection of thoughts on the Lions’ Week 3 win.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t even know what to do. The Lions haven’t won a game in 336 days. In the run up to the Lions’ 26-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals, it was nothing but doom and gloom. Everyone was getting fired and people considered moving from Detroit to North Dakota just to escape being hurt again. Hell I picked the Lions to lose 42-28 to the Cardinals. The season was over for everyone except the Lions apparently.

As always, I have thoughts on this game. These are those thoughts.

Welcome back Kenny

Right off the bat it was great to have Kenny Golladay back for the Lions. You could see just how much the Lions missed him in the first two weeks of the season. He didn’t go off like I’m sure Lions fans hoped he would, but he chipped in six receptions for 57 yards and this beautiful touchdown.

The kid had a pretty good game

The kid of course is third-overall pick Jeff Okudah. While he definitely struggled with DeAndre Hopkins at times, he showed up with his first career interception and made some nice plays, particularly a beautiful tackle for a loss in the first quarter. You have to feel better about the rookie after a rough debut in Week 2. You also have to be excited for what he can become. He showed flashes on Sunday for sure.

Speaking of picks

The Lions came into this game with no turnovers on the year. They wound up picking off Kyler Murray three times. It was a breath of fresh air, but I do have a few concerns.

While the Lions did get those three picks, they struggled on just about every other drive during the game. Cardinals punter Andy Lee only took the field three times — and he didn’t even come out for the first time until the fourth quarter. What I’m getting at here is that the Lions defense is still leaking like a sieve despite generating some turnovers.

The other concern is on the offensive side of the ball. The Lions only got 10 points out of those three turnovers. Yes the Lions won, but there’s plenty of scenarios where they don’t. However, the Lions are the team that forced three turnovers and lost. The Lions must take advantage of their opponents’ mistakes. Teams like the Lions next opponent, the New Orleans Saints, will make you pay for not capitalizing like the Cardinals couldn’t.

The Lions rushed the passer and got sacks

Build a statue of Jack Fox

I am hereby starting a petition to get the city of Detroit to build a statue of Jack Fox and place it atop the Renaissance Center facing Canada just to let everyone over there know that he is an American treasure. Seriously though, this guy is pretty good.

Stafford had a great game for the most part

I thought the story coming out of this game was going to be how Matthew Stafford was off for much of the game. There was a red zone possession where Stafford wildly overthrew his targets twice and the Lions were forced to settle for a field goal.

But that’s not the story. Despite some bad throws early on, Stafford completed 71 percent of his throws for 270 yards and two touchdowns. The only real complaint is that it should have been three or maybe even four. The Lions are going to need him playing like this or better against the Saints in Week 4.

This doesn’t change anything

Hey, I want everyone to be happy. I hope you have a good week enjoying a victory. I know it makes your Monday go a lot better for sure. But allow me to be sobering for a moment. I’ll remind you again that while this was a win, it was the first win in 336 days. The regime is still an abject failure at the moment.

At this point the Lions front office and coaching staff still need to get to the bye week with another win, or, at the very least, not a completely embarrassing moment for anyone to have any sort of confidence in them. It seems like a tall task. Now if they can some how magically turn things around and squeak into the playoffs, then the story is completely different, obviously. But you and I know that’s more than likely not happening.

We’ll worry about all that later though. Tonight we rejoice in victory. Tonight we dance.

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.