Detroit routed 38-10 by Arizona
- Article by: JOHN MARSHALL
- Associated Press
- December 16, 2012 - 7:54 PM
GLENDALE, Ariz. - Just when the Detroit Lions thought it couldn't get any worse, they hit a new low.
Matt Stafford threw three interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns, and the Lions stretched their losing streak to six games with a 38-10 loss to the previously-hapless Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
"That's about as bad as I can play," Stafford said.
Arizona (5-9) came into the game on a nine-game losing streak, thanks to one of the NFL's worst offenses and a revolving door of ineffective quarterbacks.
The Lions (4-10) made the Cardinals look like the team that was in the playoffs last season, not them.
Stafford was ineffective much of the game, throwing into coverage and behind receivers nearly as many times as he connected.
His first interception set up Arizona for a short touchdown, his second was returned 53 yards by Rashad Johnson for another score and his finale put an end to Detroit's hopes, returned 102 yards by Greg Toler to put the Cardinals up 31-10 in the fourth quarter.
Stafford finished 24 for 50 for 246 yards and no touchdowns, his quarterback rating 37.6.
Detroit also muffed a punt to set up the first of Beanie Wells' three touchdowns and lost by 28 to a team that managed less than 200 total yards.
"It's as mad as I've been in a long time," Lions coach Jim Schwartz said.
The Lions' sputtering spoiled receiver Calvin Johnson's run to the record book.
Johnson had 17 catches for 121 yards for his seventh straight 100-yard game, tying the NFL record held by Charley Hennigan in 1967 and Michael Irvin in 1995. It was his 10th 100-yard game of the season, tying four players for second-most in NFL history.
Johnson also became the first receiver in NFL history with consecutive 1,600-yard seasons, joining Marvin Harrison (1999, 2001) and Torry Holt (2,000, 2003) as the only players in NFL history with two. His 3,348 yards over the past two seasons is one than Jerry Rice's NFL record set from 1994-95.
With two games left in the season, Johnson has 1,667 yards, leaving him 181 behind Jerry Rice's single-season receiving record set in 1995.
"To accomplish it (the records) is big, but our record at 4-10 overshadows a lot of things," Johnson said.
The Cardinals had something to do with Detroit's mistakes.
Arizona's defense held the NFL's No. 2 offense to 312 yards — 65 less than what the Lions average just in passing — and gave its offense a short field all day by forcing four turnovers.
The Cardinals had 196 total yards and quarterback Ryan Lindley threw his sixth interception without a touchdown this season, but they only needed to cover 34 yards on three touchdowns drives.
A week after an embarrassing 58-0 loss to Seattle, this was just what the Cardinals needed.
"Whenever you have a game like we did last week, everybody is challenge because you are embarrassed with how it comes out," Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said after his team's first win since beating Miami on Sept. 30. "I think they responded well today."
It started off ugly for both teams, about what you'd expect from teams that came in with 14 combined straight losses.
Detroit was the first to get anything going, more than doubling its yards from the first quarter with a 73-yard scoring drive in the second, capped by Mikel Leshoure's 1-yard touchdown run.
Then the wheels came off.
Stefan Logan muffed a punt when he was run into by teammate Pat Lee, who was trying to block an Arizona player. The Cardinals recovered at Detroit's 5 and Wells scored on a run the next play for Arizona's first TD in 11 quarters.
Patrick Peterson intercepted a pass by Stafford in the second quarter, returning it 31 yards to set up a 1-yard TD run by Wells.
With 30 seconds left in the half, Stafford threw into coverage and Rashad Johnson picked it off for a 53-yard for a touchdown that put the Cardinals up 21-7 at halftime.
"When the defense plays like that, it makes it a lot easier on us," said Lindley, who threw for 104 yards on 14-of-21 passing.
It didn't get a whole lot better for the Lions in the second half.
After Jason Hanson hit a 41-yard field goal in the third quarter, Detroit had a chance to pull within 7 after reaching Arizona's 2-yard line.
Instead, Detroit found itself down 31-10 after Toler picked off Stafford in the end zone and returned it 102 yards for the longest interception return in Cardinals' history.
Wells added a 31-yard run around the right end for a touchdown that put Arizona up 38-10, extending the Lions' misery while ending the Cardinals' in emphatic fashion.
"It felt good to get a victory," said Wells, who had 67 yards on 17 carries. "We hadn't had one in a long time."
NOTES: Arizona S Adrian Wilson became the sixth player in NFL history with 25 sacks and 25 interceptions with a sack in the fourth quarter. ... Hanson tied Morten Andersen for most field goals of at least 40 yards (187). ... 91-year-old Charley Trippi, a star on the Cardinals' 1947 NFL championship team, was honored at halftime. Trippi, who played for the Cardinals from 1947 to 1955, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1968. ... Detroit cornerback Jacob Lacy left the game in the first quarter with a knee injury.
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