Following a heartbreaking home loss to the Rams the previous week, the Arizona Cardinals returned to full form during their second road trip win of the season in Detroit.
The Detroit Lions assuredly have something to roar about this week. But that's not about them winning. Rather, it's about how they melted down in a precarious fashion as Carson Palmer led his Arizona Cardinals to a one-sided victory in a game where the Red Birds reminded the NFL that they still have one of the top defenses, and that they're still taking numbers.
During the 42-17 manhandling, Carson Palmer threw three touchdown passes, completing 11 of 14 for 161 yards. He'd score hitting Darren Fells, John Brown and Larry Fitzgerald, while showcasing a gorgeous 154.2 passer rating with no interceptions.
"I feel comfortable and confident," said Palmer, of his nearly perfect outing.
Now sitting at 4-1 at the top of their division, the Birds seem all but assured a playoff berth.
On the flip side, the Lions are 0-5, and remain the only winless team in the NFL.
Mathew Stafford had a terrible showing -- and it didn't help that he was getting pressured on nearly every play. His passes were poorly timed and even more poorly executed. This led to him being benched during the third quarter.
"He warned me at halftime that I only got one more," Stafford recalled.
Stafford threw 20 of 32 for 182 yards including a TD pass to Theo Riddick. But after that strong opening, where their defense limited the Cardinals, the meltdown began.
After two turnovers in the first quarter, Dan Orlovsky came in to replace Stafford in the third. He and Stafford would make 70 passing attempts to set a new record for most attempts during a game. But it wouldn't be nearly enough to get their team anywhere on this day.
Chris Johnson carried the ball 11 times and put up 103 yards, while the rookie David Johnson had three carries including an impressive 4-yard TD run in the second quarter and a 2-yard run near the end of the first half for a touchdown as well.
"Once we got the first couple turnovers, it was like piranhas with the blood in the water," Arizona coach Bruce Arians said. ''I was just worried we were going to start taking the ball away from each other.''
The Cards head to Pittsburg next to play a team that has Michael Vick standing in for Ben Roethlisberger, who's currently sidelined with an MCL strain.
Things are looking up again for Arizona, indeed.
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