Matthew Stafford threw four touchdown passes, two to rookie receiver Kenny Golladay, and the Detroit Lions snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Arizona Cardinals with a 35-23 season-opening victory on Sunday at Ford Field.
Stafford finished his day 29-41 for 292 yards, four touchdowns and the one interception. Golladay had just two catches for 14 yards heading into the fourth quarter, but he made his presence felt in the final frame.
David Johnson was taken out of the Cardinals game with the Lions in the third quarter after suffering an injury. He was held to 23 yards rushing on 11 carries and caught six passes for 68 yards.
Quarterback Carson Palmer has much to prove himself that he still has what it takes for the passing game to click.
Without Johnson, the team could be even more one-dimensional, unless Kerwynn Williams can find the room that Johnson could not. The Lions were in scoring range, so the swing in momentum here was huge. He beat Justin Bethel for both scores.
After forcing yet another punt, Stafford looked to Golladay again, heaving a bomb out of play-action. Killebrew scored a defensive touchdown on his interception.
The Arizona Cardinals and Detroit Lions meet up in the Motor City on Sunday in a show down of two high octane offenses looking to make a statement. Instead, Bethel got a running start towards the end zone as he happily picked off the pass to give Arizona an early 7-0 lead.
The Cards tacked on a 24-yard Phil Dawson field goal after a special teams gaffe by the Lions.
The Lions defense would come through again in the second quarter when safety Glover Quin intercepted another Palmer overthrow.