Here are my takeaways from the game:
1) The offense has to step up against the premier defenses
It’s been clear in many games this season that the defense has carried the team to victory but today the inept performance by the offense came back to bite them. Despite the offense getting good instances of field position they were unable to capitalise. The Cardinals’ defense did a sterling job shutting down Tate and Johnson conpletely.
2) Offensive playcalling has to stick with what is working
There were a few short yardage situations late on when Stafford dropped back to pass and nothing was there. Joique Bell had been running the ball effectively and those short-yardage should have been put on him.
3) The defense can be relied upon
On the Cardinals’ 3rd drive, they were 14-0 up and driving. I was worried this was gonna be a long, long day. Two plays later, Bynes picked the ball and the Cards would never add any more points to the board. Big credit to the defense for turning it around and allowing the team to stay in it right to the end.
4) Detroit can hang with the big boys
Despite being disappointed by the loss, and it being clear that the team has issues on offense, there were positives to take from the game. The Lions lost a one-score game on the road against arguably the 2nd best team in the league. Yes, I know. To be the best you’ve got to be the best, but with a few tweaks on offense, this is a team that may be able to hang with the best in the NFC come playoff time. Who knows?
And just as an aside, nothing to do with the team, just how did that Cards player have possession of that punt when he’s clearly falling into the endzone? That call had like a 40-yard difference in field position. And was it me or was Larry Fitzgerald short of first down on the final Cardinals’ possession?