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Stanton Stands Tall; Cardinals Top Lions 14-6 To Improve To 9-1

Detroit Lions v Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals may not have Carson Palmer under center anymore in 2014, but new QB Drew Stanton was solid in his first start as the Cardinals topped the Lions 14-6.

The victory put the Cards at an NFL best 9-1 on the season, three games up on the 49ers and Seahawks for the top spot in the NFC West.

Stanton threw touchdown passes to Michael Floyd on Arizona’s first two possessions and the Cardinals held the Lions without a touchdown, the first time that’s happened to Detroit since 2009.

Detroit got inside the Arizona 20-yard line only once, and that was after one of Stanton’s two interceptions. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for Detroit (7-3).

Stanton threw TD passes of 42 and 12 yards. After that, Arizona’s offense stalled and Stanton threw two interceptions. But the Lions couldn’t convert either turnover into a touchdown.

“It was a great win for us,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said, “and solidifies the belief in our locker room that whoever steps in steps up.”

Arizona won its sixth in a row and has its best record through 10 games since 1948. The Cardinals are a perfect 6-0 at home.

The Cards held an opponent without a TD for the first time this season.

“When a team doesn’t score seven points,” Cardinals linebacker Larry Foote said, “there’s a pretty good chance you’re going to come out on top.”

Stanton, 3-1 as a starter this season, finished 21 of 32 for 306 yards.

Lions QB Matthew Stafford was 18 of 30 for 183 yards with one interception. He was sacked four times, while Stanton, facing the No. 1-rated defense in the NFL, was not sacked.

Neither team scored in the second half in a matchup of two of the game’s best defenses.

Detroit’s only real threat came late in the first half.

Cassius Vaughn intercepted Stanton’s pass and got the ball at the 19.

Detroit advanced it to the 10 and Lions coach Jim Caldwell challenged the spot, arguing that it should have been a first down. But the spot stood and Caldwell decided to go four a field goal on fourth-and-1.

“That was huge, huge,” Arians said. “After that interception, to hold them to three I thought set the tempo for the rest of the football game.”

Calvin Johnson, usually defended by Patrick Peterson, had five catches for 59 yards for the Lions, only one for 4 yards in the first half.

A 12-yard pass from Stanton to Larry Fitzgerald on third-and-11 in the final minutes sealed the victory.

The Cardinals took the opening kick and went 80 yards in six plays. The next time they got the ball, they went 77 yards in seven plays.

Stanton was 3 of 4 for 59 yards in the first TD drive and 3 of 4 for 77 yards in the second.

The Cards will have a huge test as they take on the Seahawks next week in Seattle.

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