Detroit Lions

5 Numbers That Tell the Story Of the Lions-Cardinals Game

Photo credit: Kirthmon F. Dozier (Detroit Free Press via USA TODAY Sports)

The Detroit Lions played spoiler and pulled off one of the biggest shockers of the season against the top-seeded Arizona Cardinals. Dan Campbell‘s crew surprised everyone when they were up 17-0 at the half.

Despite NFL fans across the league wondering how the Lions would manage to screw it up this time, they were in for a shock when the Lions came out just as assertive as they were in the first half. The Lions never looked back after taking a 24-3 lead midway through the third.

Here are five numbers that tell the story of the Lions-Cardinals game.

5 for 6

Jared Goff performed well under pressure on Sunday, going 5/6 with two touchdowns. This season, the biggest knock on Goff has been his play when he has faced pressure. This time he was going up against one of the best teams in the league.

He was also impressive when he had a clean pocket, going 16/20 for 129 yards and a touchdown. Goff provided glimpses of what made him such a coveted draft prospect coming out of college. He came up big when the team needed it the most.

Despite two turnover-worthy plays, according to PFF, Goff wasn’t responsible for Detroit’s lone turnover, and he kept the ball away from the Cardinals.

0.7

The Lions didn’t have the same success running the ball as they did through the air. They averaged only 0.7 yards before contact when running the ball. The ball carriers fought tooth and nail for every one of their 126 rushing yards as the Cardinals defenders were often meeting them right at the line of scrimmage.

Craig Reynolds put up yet another impressive performance while filling in for D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams. He put up 112 yards on 26 carriers on his way to 4.3 yards per carry.

Reynold’s ability to create so much out of so little is impressive, and his performances under such adverse circumstances should help secure him a spot on an NFL roster next season, even if it’s not with the Lions.

7.6

Detroit’s defense held Kyler Murray in check all game. The dynamic quarterback finished the game with a QBR of 7.6. Murray has been one of the best quarterbacks this season, and he was expected to continue his impressive performances despite not having DeAndre Hopkins available.

Instead, he came out flat and didn’t put any points in the first half. Murray wasn’t better in the second half. When the Cardinals had the chance to cut the lead to seven, he threw the ball to an outstretched Amani Oruwariye, who gave the Lions possession of the ball.

The Lions quickly capitalized after the interception and extended their lead to 21 points.

90

Amon-Ra St. Brown is another player who continues to impress this season. The rookie wideout from USC led the Lions with eight catches on a team-high 10 targets for 90 yards and a score. St. Brown has developed chemistry with Goff and continues to improve every week.

St. Brown has had one of the better seasons for the rookies in his class. He has now eclipsed 600 yards on the year. He has not set the league ablaze like a Ja’Marr Chase or Justin Jefferson, but St. Brown looks to be a dependable wideout with a future in Detroit.

Josh Reynolds had yet another solid game, reeling off six passes for 68 yards and a touchdown. We can see just how good a midseason addition he has been because St. Brown’s presence has provided Goff with another capable wideout.

5

Charles Harris was incredible, disrupting Arizona’s offense with five pressures and two sacks. The downfall of the Lions’ defense has primarily been due to their inability to create any pressure. There have been multiple games where they get pressure on fewer than 10 dropbacks, but Harris could get in the backfield and disrupt any momentum Kyler was trying to establish.

Harris is having a breakout season this year. He has 7.5 sacks this season and has showcased the talent that made him a first-round pick in 2017. Harris is set to hit free agency after this season, and the Lions should prioritize re-signing him.

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