Lions Fall To Arizona By 10

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Karlos Dansby was back, and the Arizona Cardinals were home again.
The combination was way too much for the Detroit Lions.
The linebacker intercepted two passes and forced a fumble to help Arizona's defense make mistake-prone Detroit look like the lowly Lions of old in the Cardinals' 31-21 victory on Sunday.
"Just blessed to be back and get the opportunity to come back and play the game that I love," Dansby said.
Two of Dansby's plays led to Arizona touchdowns in his first game since going down with a knee injury early against Carolina on Oct. 14.
"Obviously he made a big difference for us today," coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "His speed, his ability to make plays in the pass game. I give him a lot of credit."
Kurt Warner, playing with a torn ligament in his left (non-throwing) shoulder, shook off an early interception to complete 26 of 36 passes for 259 yards and three touchdowns, two to Larry Fitzgerald. Backup Tim Rattay also had a TD pass as Arizona (4-5) snapped a three-game skid and improved to 3-1 at home in front of another loud, capacity crowd.
Tight end Leonard Pope caught two touchdown passes for the Cardinals.
Warner had expressed his disgust at Arizona's performance in a 17-10 loss at Tampa Bay last week.
"It comes down to each man having to be a man and be a pro and know what they're not doing," Warner said, "what they're holding back, what they're limiting this team to by not giving everything they have each and every day."
The loss dropped the Lions (6-3) two games behind first-place Green Bay in the NFC North. The Cardinals are just a half-game behind first-place Seattle in the weak NFC West. The Seahawks play at home against San Francisco on Monday night.
"We looked terrible today," Detroit wide receiver Roy Williams said, "real terrible."
Jon Kitna was 32-of-45 for 294 yards, including two touchdowns to Roy Williams, but he was intercepted twice and fumbled twice, accounting for four of the Lions' five turnovers. Kitna had not been intercepted in four games. The second TD pass came with 1:15 to play, when the outcome had long been determined.
"Missed tackles, 11 penalties, five turnovers, and our coverage units weren't very good," coach Rod Marinelli said. "That covers our entire football team."
The Lions had minus-18 yards rushing, the second-fewest allowed in Cardinals' history. They were the Chicago Cardinals when they held Detroit to minus-24 yards on Oct. 13, 1946.
Kevin Jones had zero yards in four carries. Marinelli said he twice pulled Jones from the game because of a sore foot.
Defensive tackle Darnell Dockett said the Cardinals took offense to all the talk about how talented the Lions' defensive line was.
"We've been hearing Shaun Rogers this and Cory Redding that," Dockett said. "Everybody said `We hope you can match their intensity.' We took it as a slap in the face. Our approach as a d-line was to go out here and show that they've got to match our intensity."
Arizona led 17-7 in a first half that really wasn't as close as the score indicated.
The Cardinals had the ball for more than 21 of the first 30 minutes of play. The Cardinals had a 14-2 advantage in first downs and 196-46 in yards in the first half. Warner threw for two touchdowns in the second half, the last a 20-yarder to Fitzgerald to give the Cardinals a 31-14 with 13:23 to go.
Arizona had four turnovers, three of them fumbles.
Steve Breaston, who also had a 52-yard kickoff return, returned a punt 46 yards to the Detroit 13 to set up Arizona's first touchdown. Three plays later, Fitzgerald caught Warner's lob for a 1-yard touchdown and Arizona led for good, 10-7.
The Cardinals mounted their longest drive of the season late in the second quarter, 90 yards in 15 plays. Warner got Arizona to the Detroit 9.
Because of Warner's injury, coach Ken Whisenhunt switched to Rattay in goal-line situations. Rattay handed off to J.J. Arrington, who ran seven yards to the 2. On the next play, he faked a handoff up the middle, then rolled right and tossed to a wide-open Pope to give Arizona a 17-7 lead with 18 seconds left in the half.


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