Matthew Stafford throws pick-six to Justin Bethel

Kristopher Drake
September 11, 2017

The 35-23 win at Ford Field helps the Lions get started on the right foot. Matthew Stafford has put up big numbers every season since coming into the league, and led the team to the playoffs last season despite having his best weapon in Calvin Johnson retire suddenly after the 2015 season.

The Cardinals took the ball to open the contest, but the drive lasted just six plays when Lions safety Tavon Wilson intercepted an overthrown pass by Carson Palmer, intended for running back David Johnson.

Detroit Lions fans have seen some ugly football, but the first quarter of the Lions' 2017 regular season was brutal even by Detroit standards. The Cardinals filled gaps on defense, special teams, and in a couple of areas of deficiency on offense. His favorite target? Rookie wide receiver Kenny Golladay, who caught four of Stafford's passes for 69 yards and two second-half scores. He's one of eight players selected in the first three rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft who doesn't have a Twitter account. Receiver Golden Tate is one of the best.

And it's also bad for fantasy football owners across the nation. 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. Stafford has the weapons he needs to get back to the playoffs, but question marks are all over this defense.

Golladay had put the Lions ahead earlier in the fourth quarter with a leaping grab in the end zone.

Stafford finished the day completing 29 of his 41 passes for 291 yards, four touchdowns and one interception.

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