Cardinals lose time of possession, scoreboard battle in 1st half vs. Lions

Dec 19, 2021, 12:32 PM | Updated: 7:01 pm
Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury watches from the sideline during the first half of an ...

Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury watches from the sideline during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Jose Juarez)

(AP Photo/Jose Juarez)

There’s no question the Arizona Cardinals sport one of the more prolific offenses in the league just given the amount of talent on the roster.

The best way to keep quarterback Kyler Murray and Co. at bay is limiting the amount of time the offense has the ball.

Through a half of football on Sunday, the Detroit Lions have, for the most, been successful in that regard, taking a 17-0 lead over the visiting Cardinals.

Detroit won the Week 15 contest, 30-12.

While a halftime lead from the 1-11-1 Lions is surprising to say the least, the team’s time of possession over the Cardinals stood out from the jump, with Detroit handling the football for 17:52 compared to Arizona’s 12:08 in the first half.

The lopsided possession battle can be summed up to an effective Lions rushing attack behind Craig Reynolds, especially in the first quarter. The running back, who is filling in for injured starters Jamaal Williams and D’Andre Swift, had little resistance throughout the first and second quarters, compiling 14 rushes on 59 yards.

His production gave the Lions more than enough of a boost from the start, as Detroit chewed up nearly nine minutes off the clock over the course of a 15-play, 63-yard drive that ended in a 37-yard field goal.

The Cardinals couldn’t muster that same success with the ball in their hands.

Despite getting great field position following a failed Lions onside kick, the Cardinals spun their tires, registering a quick three-and-out to go along with a false start penalty committed by D.J. Humphries.

By the end of the first quarter, the Cardinals were down 12:32 to 2:28 to the Lions in time of possession.

And continuing to apply pressure at home was the Lions to start the second quarter.

Starting from their own seven-yard line, Detroit needed just eight plays to find pay dirt, capping off a 93-yard drive with a 37-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jared Goff to wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown.

On the other side, the Cardinals continued to look out of sorts on offense, with Murray taking two sacks over the next two drives.

Even when it looked like the Cardinals were starting to click offensively, they could not do themselves any favors when it counted most.

Driving down to Detroit’s three-yard line, Arizona had a chance to trim the Lions’ lead to just one score with either a touchdown or field goal. Two incomplete passes later, and the Cardinals walked away with nothing.

And right there to answer was the Lions offense, which turned in a 9-play, 97-yard drive capped off by a 22-yard touchdown throw from Goff to wide receiver Josh Reynolds.

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Cardinals lose time of possession, scoreboard battle in 1st half vs. Lions