Notes from the Nest: Cardinals vs. Lions

Nov 16, 2014, 9:20 PM | Updated: Nov 17, 2014, 12:17 am

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End of game

Indeed it did. Stanton kneels down a few times and that does it in Glendale. Pretty? No, not in the least.

But a win is a win, and the Cardinals are 9-1.

2 minute warning

Facing a 3rd and 11, Larry Fitzgerald makes a catch for 11 yards. Knew where the sticks were, ran the route to them. Great job. That should just about clinch this one.

2:42 left in fourth quarter

Defense gets the job done. Lions get a first down but Jerraud Powers gets to Stafford on a blitz for a sack, then a premature snap causes the Lions to scramble into an incomplete pass on third down.

Punt is returned to the Arizona 22, but a taunting penalty pushes it out to the 37. What do the Lions have to taunt about?

4:34 left in fourth quarter

Cards move a little but not enough, as the drive stalls and Arians sends Drew Butler out to punt instead of Chandler Catanzaro for a field goal attempt. It’s the right call given the circumstances, though a field goal would have essentially iced the game.

Instead Detroit takes over at its own 11. They need 89 yards — and then a two-point conversion. Seems almost criminal to ask more of this defense, but that’s what a pitiful offensive performance will do for you.

6:45 left in fourth quarter

Lions do well to get down the field and, facing a fourth and four, decide to go for it. Stafford’s pass to Megatron sails wide, and Arizona takes over at its own 47.

Gutsy call by Lions coach Jim Caldwell — and I think the wrong one. You’re down one score and the Cardinals can’t seem to move the ball. Punt it away, see if your D can get a stop. Still plenty of time. Now you give a struggling Arizona offense a short field to work with in a situation where a field goal would probably end it.

Either way the Cardinals will take it. Still 14-6.

Still 11:42 left in fourth quarter

Bruce Arians challenged that Justin Bethel possessed the ball at the one before throwing it back, and the refs rule in his favor. Wow, huge play. Lions take over at their 1.

11:42 left in fourth quarter

Drive stalls when Stanton misses John Brown on 3rd and 5, and the punt is returned to the Arizona 45 by Jeremy Ross. Cards had a chance to down it deep, but batted the ball to him and he made a great play. That’s not what they had in mind.

:25 left in third quarter

Defense comes up HUGE, getting the stop and forcing a punt. Ball downed at the Arizona nine. First play is a run that loses a yard.

To the fourth we go, with the score somehow still 14-6.

:55 left third quarter

The drive ended with an incomplete pass, though it was nearly Stanton’s third pick of the game as he was behind an open John Brown on the play. Punt was fine, but the Lions have moved up to their own 45. It’s 3rd and a big 1.

4:05 left in third quarter

Stafford looks for Megatron deep but is picked off by Rashad Johnson. Patrick Peterson also looked like he would have made the interception, but the Cards will gladly take it.

False start on Bobby Massie puts the Cardinals on their own 17.

4:17 left in third quarter

Lions driving and Cardinals are fuming after a couple of iffy penalty calls (one on the Cards, a couple not called on the Lions). Detroit is at their own 44 facing a 2nd and 13.

The defense has done a good job holding the Lions in check, but sooner or later you’d have to think they’ll do something. Too talented not to. At that point, it will be up to the offense, which has done very little positive since the first quarter, to step up.

6:34 left in third quarter

Stanton can’t connect with Floyd deep and the Cards punt it away. Looked like he may have had Fitzgerald open for the first down, but took the shot downfield instead. Also took a shot himself on the play, though he got up fine.

Punt is fair caught at the 16, where the Lions will go to work.

7:07 left in third quarter

Cardinals moving some, though now facing a 3rd and 12 from their own 47. Stanton still getting solid protection.

11:49 left in third quarter

Alex Okafor comes up with a sack and then Calvin Johnson is stopped short of the sticks, and the Lions punt it away. Ten yards added to the return by way of a hold on the Lions, and the Cards take over at their 20.

Stanton finished the first half rather poorly; how does he respond in the third quarter?

13:17 left in third quarter

Lions get the ball and are looking very sharp on offense. Already at the Arizona 47, mixing in some good passes with solid runs. Joique Bell well on his way to being the first player to eclipse the 100-yard rushing mark against Arizona this season.


Stanton kneels on the ball and Arizona heads into the half with a 14-6 lead. It seems kind of hollow, though, because if Stanton keeps turning the ball over it’s tough to see the Cards holding on here.

A backup QB’s job is to not make mistakes. Stanton is more than the backup now, but he still has to protect the ball. Cardinals are 8-1 in large part due to their taking care of the ball.

:25 left in second quarter

With help from what appeared to be a bad spot, the Cardinals hold and force the Lions into another field goal. It’s good from 28 yards out, and the score is now 14-6.

:30 left in second quarter

Stanton makes a bad read/throw and is picked by Cassius Vaughn. Stanton’s second interception of the game — that’s the last thing the Cardinals can afford.

Lions deep in Arizona territory looking to get a bit closer before the end of the half.

2 minute warning

Cards facing 2nd and 6 at their own 40. More important, perhaps, is Larry Fitzgerald went to the locker room with a trainer. Probably dinged up on the play he couldn’t quite come up with on the last drive — he got hit pretty hard.

2:27 left in second quarter

Lions move a bit and Cards catch a break as Calvin Johnson can’t come up with a deep third-down pass, and the punt puts the ball at the Arizona 36. With two timeouts, I doubt they get conservative here.

4:46 left in second quarter

Drive almost continues with an amazing catch from Fitzgerald, but he isn’t quite able to hang on and the Cardinals punt it away. Penalty on the return pushes the Lions back to their 26.

The Cardinals have certainly slowed down since their great start, and the last thing they want is to let the Lions back into the game on this drive. Detroit gets the ball to start the third.

5:48 left in second quarter

Cardinals chewing up some clock and moving the ball down the field, albeit in a very deliberate and methodical manner.

Short passes have been key, as have been some decent Ellington runs. Offensive line has been very good so far.

Second and 10 from the Arizona 30.

9:00 left in second quarter

Defense eventually forces a punt, which is downed by Detroit at the Arizona 7. Let’s see how Stanton and the offense respond to their first setback of the afternoon.

13:17 left in second quarter

Cards were moving the ball just fine until Stanton found Lions linebacker Josh Bynes. It was the QB’s first pick of the year, and probably overdue. Bad spot for it.

Lions moving the ball as Stafford takes a hit but finds Tate down the field. Momentum turning?

End of first quarter

First frame ends with the fans giving the home team a standing ovation.

Cards have the ball facing a 3rd and 5 at their own 44. Larry Fitzgerald caught a 22-yard pass on this drive, pushing him over 12,000 career receiving yards and making him the second-youngest player to ever reach that mark behind Randy Moss.

While no one would say the Cards’ lead is safe, you certainly have to be feeling pretty good after the first 15 minutes of play.

2:46 left in first quarter

Lions move down the field with the help of a 33-yard run from Bell. Defense stands tall, though, and forces them into a 50-yard field goal attempt, which Prater banks off the upright and through.

Lead is now 14-3.

6:06 left in first quarter

That great start got even better. Robert Hughes took a short pass 52 yards, then a few plays later Stanton finds Floyd again, this time on third down, for a 12-yard touchdown.

Tell you what, that Bruce Arians guy can really coach. Gets the most out of the talent he has.

Cards up 14-0.

9:48 left in first quarter

Lions get a pass completion to Golden Tate, but a pair of runs (including one on 3rd and 1) go nowhere and they punt it away. Great start for the defense — and team, really.

Punt is caught at the 23.

12:35 left in first quarter

Stanton moves the chains once with a nice third-down throw to John Brown, then takes a deep shot that gets picked off but is negated by a Lions penalty (they were offsides, which Stanton knew when he threw it, and then a hold on the defense, which they accepted). Andre Ellington followed that up by a nice run, and then Stanton found Michael Floyd with single coverage, heaved it up and watched him make the play for a 42-yard touchdown.

Welcome back, Michael Floyd. Cards lead 7-0.


Chowing down on the last (for now) of my miniature pie, which was one of the best features of today’s media meal. Because I’m sure you all care about that.

For those who are more interested in the game, however, you are in for a good one. Two of the NFC’s best teams doing battle with plenty on the line.

The Cards got some good news earlier in the day when the Kansas City Chiefs knocked off the Seattle Sehaawks, meaning an Arizona win today would give them a three-game cushion in the NFC West.

As you all are aware, Drew Stanton will get the start in place of Carson Palmer, who is out for the rest of the year with a torn ACL. Stanton was solid earlier in the year when called upon, but how will he fare as “the guy” now?

Cardinals won the toss and chose to receive.

Here we go.

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