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Lions vs Cardinals: What Just Happened?

A collection of thoughts on the Lions Week 15 win

Arizona Cardinals v Detroit Lions Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

Are you having fun now? What a day for the Detroit Lions. This was a game that probably 100% of football fans felt the Lions were going to get blown out in. A team did get blown out on Sunday, but it wasn’t Detroit. It was the Super Bowl contending Arizona Cardinals. The Lions smacked Kliff Kingsbury and company in the mouth for a 30-12 win.

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

Signature Win

I’m not sure words can properly explain the magnitude of what happened in Detroit on Sunday. The Lions, without TJ Hockenson, D’Andre Swift, Tracy Walker, Jamaal Williams, and a bunch of other guys, went out there a manhandled one of the best teams in the NFL, with ease.

The Cardinals were playing for something too. This wasn’t a team that was taking the day off to rest up for the playoffs. They needed to win this game to clinch the playoffs. Also, the Lions just beat a team that had not lost a road game all year.

This is huge. How does a team without its stars, and leaning on a hefty amount of their role players, go out and beat one of the best teams in the league? With good coaching. That’s how it’s done. The Lions are in good shape for the future.

Netflix and Kill

Craig “Netflix” Reynolds is legit. What a story this is. A small school guy that‘s bounced around the league makes good. You love to see it. Reynolds achieved one of the big markers for success on Sunday when he became the 13th Lions running back since Barry Sanders to register a 100-yard rushing game.

Reynolds may have found himself a job for the future. With Swift and Williams out, look for Reynolds to play a big part for this team for the rest of the season and then some. This guy isn’t going anywhere.

Good Goff

Where has this Jarred Goff been? Dude was wheeling and dealing all day long on this Cardinals defense that’s no joke at all. Goff had his best game of the season going 21-26 for 216 yards and three touchdowns. He had a nice 139.7 rating too.

Goff just looked like a completely different player out there. He looked like a guy that had found his confidence after searching for it for so long. I’m not saying that Goff made a big step towards securing himself as the Lions long term guy, but when you see him having games like this one, or his game against the Vikings, it really makes you think that maybe the Lions should forgo drafting a quarterback in April and see if Goff can build upon what he's been doing lately.

Charles Harris

Sometimes it takes guys a little bit to find themselves in this league. Even if they are a first-round pick. Charles Harris has done that with the Lions. On Sunday he had himself a day. Harris notched seven tackles and 1.5 sacks. The Lions might be considering drafting one of the top two defensive ends in this year's draft, but they have to make sure they retain Harris as well. He’s still just 26 and can really contribute. The Lions are just full of good stories.

Get Oruwariye to the Pro Bowl

I’m calling on all Lions fans to make sure this kid is playing in Hawaii next month. Oruwariye is not without issues, but he has stepped up well beyond what anyone thought he could do after a rough 2020 season. On Sunday he perfectly jumped a route and grab a huge interception that negated another bad Godwin Igwebuike fumble.

Riley

Maybe I’m jumping the gun here, but it seems the Lions have found their long-term kicker in Riley Patterson. He’s been money since he got to Detroit and when he comes out to kick, Lions fans' hearts don’t fall into their stomachs.

Speaking of hearts falling into stomachs

You know you got worried when the Cardinals scored that touchdown with four minutes and change left. You took out your calculator and calculated how many points the Cardinals would need to come back. I’m sure went over numerous scenarios in your head about how the Cardinals were going to force a miracle comeback win. I know this because that’s what I was doing.

The Lions got sacks

Please don’t steal Aaron Glenn

Make no mistake, sure as you were born, there will be teams looking for new head coaches next month, and Lions’ defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn will be on the list of guys that will no doubt see some interviews. The Lions need to do whatever they can to make sure that doesn't happen. Offer him whatever he wants to stay. Aaron Glenn’s role in this rebuild can not be overstated. He just drew up a defensive game plan that beat one of the best teams in the league and he did it with guys you’ve never heard of. Put up a barricade around him if you have to. Just don’t let him leave.