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2012 NFL Week 15 Recap, Analysis: Arizona Cardinals vs. Detroit Lions

My God, the Arizona Cardinals have won a game. Mired in a nine-game losing streak, with nothing left to play for and having just gotten destroyed in Seattle 58-0, the Arizona Cardinals responded in a big way. They almost looked the team that started the season 4-0 on Sunday; all they were missing was an NFL caliber offense.

Now, about that offense. They still haven’t thrown for a touchdown in what feels like a year now, but at least Ryan Lindley was only intercepted once. He had arguably his best start since taking over for John Skelton finishing the game with only one interception, and even better still topping the century mark in yards. Not impressive by anyone else's standards, but for Ryan Lindley that practically qualifies as an amazing game. Beanie Wells didn’t have what I’d call a great game, but somehow found the end zone 3 times on the day, and Larry Fitzgerald was once again nowhere to be seen.

The Cardinals defense was really the driving force in this victory. I said in my preview for this game that shutting down Calvin Johnson would be key for the Cardinals, and apparently Patrick Peterson was up to the task. He would hold Johnson to 121 yards, and finish the game with an interception. His was one of three interceptions on the day, and the only one that didn’t get brought back to the house. Greg Toler would score on a record 102 yard interception, and Rashad Johnson did the same on a 53 yard interception return. Shutting down Stafford, Johnson and the rest of the Lions offense is about as difficult a task as you can face if you’re a defensive player but the Cardinals found a way and that is why they won.

Bet this feels good if you’re a Cardinals fan. It took 9 weeks, one of the most lopsided losses in the history of the NFL, 45 quarterback changes, team imposed suspensions, and a whole lot of soul searching but the Cardinals are finally back in the win column. About damn time, too.


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