Cardinals lose chance to clinch, fall 30-12 to Lions

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - DECEMBER 19: Amani Oruwariye #24 of the Detroit Lions intercepts a pass intended for A.J. Green #18 of the Arizona Cardinals in the third quarter at Ford Field on December 19, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Gett

DETROIT (AP) — Kyler Murray had a shaky performance and that helped the Detroit Lions stun the Arizona Cardinals 30-12 on Sunday.

The Cardinals (10-4) started the day tied for the NFL’s best record and were undefeated on the road.

While the Lions (2-11-1) were mired at the bottom of the league standings before the first snap.

Arizona, coming off a loss on Monday night to the NFC West-rival Los Angeles Rams, missed its chance to get in the playoffs for the first time since 2015 with a win over a team it was favored to beat by nearly two touchdowns.

The Cardinals can still earn a postseason berth during Week 15, but they’ll need some other playoff contenders to lose.

And in any scenario, Murray will have to play better.

The third-year quarterback was 23 of 41 for 257 yards with a touchdown and an interception, adding up to a 72.9 passer rating. The third-year pro has had a slightly lower rating twice this season, and the Cardinals lost both games to the Rams and Green Bay.

By the time Murray threw a touchdown pass, there was 4:40 left in the game and Arizona trailed by 15 points.

Detroit kicked a field goal on the ensuing drive, essentially sealing the win, and coach Kliff Kingsbury put Colt McCoy in the game in place of Murray.

Jared Goff, meanwhile, was the best quarterback on the field in one of many surprises at Ford Field.

He completed 21 of 26 passes for 216 yards with three touchdowns.

Detroit’s Craig Reynolds ran for a career-high 112 yards and rookie receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown had 90 yards receiving, setting a season high for the second straight week, and a touchdown.

The Cardinals took their own wide-body jet, complete with 28 lie-down seats, to a game for the first time and might’ve gotten too comfortable on the way to the Motor City.

Detroit opened the game with a 15-play, 63-yard drive that took 8:50 off the clock and ended with a field goal.

The Cardinals, who gained 17 yards on their first three possessions, finally started moving the ball late in the second quarter only to have the drive end at the Lions 3 when Murray’s pass fell incomplete on fourth down.

Early in the third, Arizona settled for a field goal instead of going for it on fourth-and-3 at the Lions 11.

Detroit picked up a pair of first downs on the ensuing drive to get into Arizona territory before running back Godwin Igwebuike lost a fumble for the second straight week.

Two snaps later, cornerback Amani Oruwariye fully extended to pick off a pass Murray threw to the outside toward A.J. Green, who didn’t come back to the ball, and he returned it 50 yards. On the next play, Goff threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Jason Cabinda to put Detroit ahead 24-3.


Cardinals: WR DeAndre Hopkins (knee) went on injured reserve Saturday, and RB Chase Edmonds (ankle) was activated for the first time in more than a month. DE Jordan Phillips (knee) and WR Rondale Moore (ankle) were hurt against Detroit.

Lions: RB D’Andre Swift (shoulder) was inactive for a third straight game and G Jonah Jackson (back) was not cleared to play. LBs Alex Anzalone (shoulder) and LB Josh Woods (shoulder) were hurt during the game.


Cardinals: host Indianapolis on Saturday.

Lions: play at Atlanta on Sunday.

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