Detroit Lions Lose Top Draft Pick With Upset Over Arizona Cardinals

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The Detroit Lions (2-11-1) pulled off a shocking upset against the Arizona Cardinals (10-4) in Week 15. In what was a humiliating showing for the Arizona Cardinals, the Lions, who were already eliminated from the playoffs, have lost control of the number 1 draft pick.

Detroit Lions Lose Top Draft Pick With Upset Over Arizona Cardinals

Defensive Performance

The Lions, who have arguably the worst roster in the National Football League, had an impressive showing on the defensive side of the ball. Prior to this matchup, the Cardinals had an average of 28.2 points per game, and the Lions held them to less than that, with just 23 points. They also held Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray to his lowest completion percentage of the season, at 56.1%.

In addition, it is worth mentioning that the Lions had quite an interestingly unfavorable situation in their secondary. Safety Will Harris, who has only played thirteen snaps at cornerback in his entire football career (through college and the NFL), and he started at outside cornerback for the Lions in the entire game. In addition, the Lions did not allow Murray more than 3 rushing yards, which was his second-lowest mark all season (1 yard against the 49ers). For context, Murray has averaged 26.7 yards on the ground per game.

Offensive Performance

In this game, Jared Goff had his best performance of the season by far. Goff only threw five incomplete passes on 26 attempts. He also had 216 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. His ESPN QBR was 93.8, and his passer rating was 139.7, which is his best passer rating this season by far.

The Lions offensive line dominated this game, in particular in the run game. The Lions elevated running back Craig Reynolds from their practice squad, and Reynolds dominated on the ground with 26 carries for 112 yards. The Cardinals defense suffered greatly from the physicality that the Lions offensive line showed in this game. They asserted themselves as one of the best run-blocking units in the league, and the Lions should depend on their run game throughout the rest of the season after this showing.

The Lions leading receiver was rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown, who was a fourth-round pick from USC. St. Brown finished with eight catches for 90 yards, as well as a touchdown. In a very thin receiving corp, there have been many opportunities for players like St. Brown to step up and make plays, and St. Brown has made the most of his opportunity thus far this season.

NFL Draft Situation

Prior to this game, the Lions were in control of the number one pick in the draft. However, thanks to the upset over the Cardinals, the Lions are now in place for the number two pick. Assuming the Lions lose the remainder of their schedule, the Lions front office will be rooting for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans to win more games in order for them to regain control of the number one pick.

Having the number three pick as opposed to the number one or number two picks is rather significant in this year’s draft class because it would appear that there are two blue-chip defensive end prospects in this year’s draft: Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson and Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux. Having the number three pick more than likely puts the Lions out of contention for either of these players. However, at the moment, they are at number two, so they would get whichever prospect the Jaguars did not select.

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