|Date of game: 12/16/2012
Recap: Arizona vs. Detroit
Glendale, AZ (Sports Network) - Beanie Wells had three scores on the ground and Arizona returned two interceptions for touchdowns as the Cardinals snapped a nine-game skid with a 38-10 win over the reeling Detroit Lions.
Arizona (5-9) managed just 196 yards of offense in the game, but took full advantage of four Detroit turnovers by turning them into 28 points to win for the first time since winning the first four games of the season.
Wells finished the game with 17 carries for 67 yards while Ryan Lindley, was a paltry 14-for-21 with 104 yards and an interception for the Cardinals, who avoided tying the longest losing streak in franchise history when the 1943 team, then based in Chicago, dropped 10 in a row.
"This game's about winning, and when you go through a stretch like we did it's tough," Arizona head coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "It's really hard, but our guys stuck together."
Detroit (4-10), meanwhile, is in the midst of a six-game losing streak and is now in double-digit losses after going 10-6 last season.
Matthew Stafford was picked off three times and finished the game 24-for-50 with 246 yards.
"That's about as bad as I can play," Stafford said. "For us to be successful, I need to play a whole lot better than that and I understand that."
The lone bright spot of the game for Detroit was superstar wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who caught 10 passes for 121 yards. He tied the NFL record with his seventh straight 100-yard receiving game, which was also accomplished by Charley Hennigan in 1961 and Michael Irvin in 1995.
With 1,667 yards this season, he is just 182 yards away from breaking Jerry Rice's single-season record that was set in 1995. Also, with 106 catches he set a new career-high for a single season and became the first player ever to have consecutive 1,600-yard receiving campaigns.
Neither team got much going offensively in the first quarter, with the Lions blowing a big opportunity after an interception at midfield as they didn't move the ball at all.
The Lions ended the frame with the ball and were finally able to put points on the board when Mikel Leshoure punched it in from a yard out for a 7-0 lead with 12:51 left in the half. The 11-play, 73-yard drive saw Detroit convert a pair of third downs.
Arizona followed with a couple of first downs, but wound up having to punt. However, a Detroit player ran into Stefan Logan as he was trying to make the catch, resulting in a fumble that the Cardinals recovered at the Detroit 5. On the next play, Wells bulled his way up through the middle to tie the game with 9:18 to play.
Following an exchange of punts, Detroit was pinned back at its own 7-yard line and a pair of false starts moved the ball to the two. Stafford then heaved a pass down the right sideline for Johnson, but it was picked off by Patrick Peterson, who took it down to the Lions' 3-yard line.
Two plays later, Wells punched it in from a yard out for a 14-7 lead with 3:16 remaining.
Arizona again benefited from a Detroit turnover on the Lions' following touch. On a 3rd-and-15 near midfield, Stafford's pass attempt to Tony Scheffler was nabbed by Rashad Johnson, who went the distance on a 53-yard score to give the team a 21-7 lead going into the break.
The Cardinals' first possession of the second half bore fruit as the team went 30 yards in eight plays and got a 51-yard field goal from Jay Feely for a 24-7 advantage with 9:19 left in the third.
Detroit responded with a march of its own as an 11-play, 57-yard drive was capped on a 41-yard field goal from Jason Hanson with 4:11 showing on the clock.
In the fourth, the Lions started a drive at their own 13 and the first play saw Calvin Johnson catch a pass for 30 yards. The team then got in the red zone and opted to go for it on 4th-and-2 at the Arizona 4. Stafford threw a pass to the left corner, but it was grabbed by Greg Toler and he went the other way for a franchise-record 102-yard return to seal the win with 5:07 to play.
Stafford was sacked on a 4th-and-10 and Wells put the emphasis on the rout with a 31-yard score to account for the final margin.Game Notes
Calvin Johnson has at least one catch in all 90 of his NFL games ... Detroit,
which went 2-6 on the road this season, plays its final two games at home with
a matchup against Atlanta next Saturday ... Arizona hosts Chicago next Sunday
... The Cardinals have won four straight against the Lions ... Detroit totaled
312 yards in offense ... Leshoure finished the game with 14 carries for 55