It wasn’t a pretty 25-21 win over the Detroit Lions, but the Arizona Cardinals and coach Bruce Arians will take it for his first career win as a head coach. The Cardinals were solid in all facets of the game and were able to keep the game close in the first half despite Matthew Stafford throwing for over 200 yards and two touchdowns to Calvin Johnson. The Cardinals made nice halftime adjustments as the Lions wouldn’t score another offensive touchdown in the second half. Carson Palmer played solid, passing for 248 yards and a touchdown, and Rashard Mendenhall has looked pretty good the first two weeks of the season rushing for 66 yard and the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter.
This may be the year of the youngster for the Cardinals as they transform their roster to coach Arians liking. Andre Ellington looked quick and explosive out of the backfield scoring on a 36 yard catch in the second quarter. Tony Jefferson came in at safety and made some nice plays in the secondary, and Tyrann Mathieu continued to impress with his play, making the game saving tackle on fourth down and four stopping Nate Burleson short of the first down. It remains to be seen if Kerry Taylor will be a weekly contributor, but he made some nice plays and was needed as Larry Fitzgerald was unable to finish the game due to a left hamstring injury. Fitzgerald told reporters after the game he will play next week against the New Orleans Saints, but how effective he is will be the big question going into next week