What it means: Yes, it's only the first game, but the Lions needed this one. Matt Prater added a 58-yard field goal right before the end of the first half.
In the fourth quarter, with the Lions down two, Matthew Stafford lobbed a ball to the edge of the end zone, trusting his young receiver to leap and snatch the catch away from the defending Justin Bethel. Stopped short of the sticks, the error gave the Cardinals the ball at the 13. Stafford's pick came two plays after Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer threw an equally ugly interception.
What happens to the Cardinals offense if Johnson can't return?
With a solid victory under their belts, the Detroit Lions will next head to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey to face the New York Giants on September 18th for a primetime game on Monday Night Football. Defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson stripped Johnson from behind on a carry and rookie linebacker Jarrad Davis recovered, setting the Lions up with a short field. And the biggest question of the day, will Kenny Golladay see targets?
After forcing yet another punt, Stafford looked to Golladay again, heaving a bomb out of play-action. He was 29 for 41 yards for 292 yards and threw 45- and 10-yard TD passes to Golladay, along with short passes to Theo Riddick and Marvin Jones for scores. Gollday had four grabs for 69 yards and Golden Tate paced the receivers with 10 catches for 107 yards.
Ironically, the two teams both faced Super Bowl competitors in Week 3 preseason.