Detroit Lions vs. Arizona Cardinals: Live Grades and Analysis for Detroit

Nick KostoraContributor IIISeptember 15, 2013

Dec. 16, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) catches a pass as Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson (21) defends during the second half at University of Phoenix Stadium.  The Cardinals beat the Lions 38-10.  Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions fell to the Arizona Cardinals by a final score of 25-21 in Week 2. Check out final grades and analysis below.


Final Analysis for the Detroit Lions

Passing Offense: Detroit’s passing game could have completely fallen apart when Bush got injured, but this offense continued to move the ball downfield. Stafford was good with 278 yards and two touchdowns. The two-minute drill, however, was lackluster and shows improvement is needed.

Run Offense: Reggie Bush attempted to come back from his knee injury, but a quick fumble meant Joique Bell would be the workhorse. Bell asserted himself well, consistently gaining positive yardage and ensuring the Lions did not lose offensive balance as he gained a total of 72 yards.

Passing Defense: After an up-and-down first half, the Lions secondary found its rhythm late in the game. The Cardinals offense could not establish much momentum, as Palmer threw for only 83 yards in the second half. Chris Houston was a particular standout with multiple pass breakups.

Run Defense: How many positives can be used to describe the Detroit Lions defensive line? Running against Detroit is nearly impossible, as evidenced by Arizona’s 87 rushing yards on the day. Nick Fairley sat out due to injury, but Suh, Ansah and the rest of the unit shouldered the load in a big way.

Special Teams: A blocked field goal in the second half only served as an extension of David Akers’ two missed attempts early in the game. The Lions need to be able to make kicks in close games. These issues will catch up to them if not addressed.

Coaching: Detroit had a surprising lack of stupid penalties against Arizona, but they still brought out eight yellow flags. This lack of discipline continues to be an issue and it was one of the main reasons Detroit lost.


1st-Half Analysis for the Detroit Lions

Passing Offense: What looked to be a sure interception turned into a touchdown as Matthew Stafford used every bit of his arm strength to squeeze the ball to Calvin Johnson on a 72-yard score, the first of two touchdowns for Megatron. Stafford is accurate and not making silly mistakes. A great sign in a close game.

Run Offense: Reggie Bush and Joique Bell began right where they left off against the Vikings. Bush has an impressive 62 total yards, and hopefully his injury doesn’t prove too serious. Bell has looked solid to the tune of 40 total yards.

Passing Defense: Palmer's 165 yards and a touchdown aren't gaudy numbers, but Arizona is doing well through the air. Palmer has completed passes to eight different guys and Detroit doesn’t have a scheme that can force players to make fundamental tackles. Lots of work must be done here in the second half.

Run Defense: Suh has made his presence felt with a nice tackle in the backfield, and the entire defensive line continues to be the Lions biggest strength. Rashard Mendenhall is not a superstar, but containing him to 25 rushing yards is still impressive.

Special Teams: David Akers missed a long field goal in the first quarter, but a flag allowed him another chance, which he also missed. Michael Spurlock followed that up with a tip-toe move in the end zone that luckily didn’t result in a safety.

Coaching: Something needs to be done to wake up the secondary and have them help out the defensive line. Cardinals receivers are consistently wide open and form tackles are few and far between. Halftime adjustments will go a long way towards determining a final grade for this coaching staff.