5 takeaways from 35-23 Cardinals loss to Lions

The Arizona Cardinals did not start the season the way they hoped to. They got an early lead, but allowed 26 unanswered points en route to a 35-23 Week 1 loss.

Here are some of the takeaways:

Injuries were a problem

Four starters left the game with injuries. They lost left tackle D.J. Humphries to a knee injury in the first quarter when a Lions player rolled up on the back of his leg. He did not return and had to be carted to the locker room after walking off the field.

Running back David Johnson, after fumbling the ball in the third quarter, left with a wrist injury.

Tight end Jermaine Gresham was body-slammed and left the game in the fourth quarter with an injury to his ribs.

Guard Mike Iupati started despite a triceps injury that limited him all week in practice. He did not look good.

Too many turnovers

The Cardinals finished with four turnovers. Carson Palmer was picked off three times. David Johnson fumbled twice, losing one. Detroit turned those turnovers into 14 points and the Cardinals lost by 12. It could have been worse, but after Palmer’s first pick, Justin Bethel picked off Matthew Stafford on the very next play and returned it 82 yards for a touchdown.

Offensive line struggles

Palmer was sacked once and hit another more than half dozen times. He was not comfortable in the pocket. The Cardinals rushed for only 45 yards on 18 carries. David Johnson only gained 23 yards on the ground on just more than two yards per carry.

Missed opportunities

Detroit was awful early in the game. They had the turnover. They made poor special teams decisions, dropping a punt snap and returning a kick that was dropped in the end zone. However, the Cardinals only could pull ahead 10-0. The lead should have been much higher.

Palmer didn’t look good

After getting all sorts of rest in the offseason and training camp, and with talk of how live and fresh his arm looks, none of that was evident in the season opener.

Palmer never got into a rhythm, in part because of the pressure the Lions were putting on him. He misfired on some easy throws. He threw three interceptions and did not have zip on his throws.

Copyright 2017 USA Today Sports


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