Lions start slow, come on late to beat Cardinals

AP

The Lions had an ugly opening and a fantastic finish today at Ford Field.

Matthew Stafford, who just became the highest-paid player in NFL history, threw an ugly pick-six on his first pass, and the Cardinals took an early lead as Detroit made several mistakes both on offense and special teams.

But just as they did for much of last year, the Lions shook off a rough start and played their best football in the fourth quarter. Stafford threw two touchdown passes to rookie Kenny Golladay to get the Lions the lead in the fourth quarter, and Miles Killebrew intercepted a Carson Palmer pass and ran it back for a touchdown to seal the Lions’ 35-23 win.

Palmer had an ugly outing, throwing three interceptions. He didn’t get much help from the running game, as David Johnson gained just 20 yards on 10 carries and also lost a fumble before leaving the game with a wrist injury. This was not the offensive performance that Bruce Arians wanted.

But Jim Caldwell did get the offensive performance he wanted, as Stafford finished with 292 yards and four touchdowns passing. Just as it was last year, the Lions’ running game was a problem, and that’s a problem they’re going to need to fix. Overall, however, the Lions have to be pleased with the way they got off to a 1-0 start.