Despite Calls for Demise, Lions Show Resilience in Arizona

The Detroit Lions have held off critics, at least for now
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Time to celebrate like it's October 27, 2019 -- the last time the Lions had won a game prior to Sunday's 26-23 defeat of the Arizona Cardinals.

It sure didn't look pretty for all four quarters, but a win is a win, no matter how you pull it off.

And boy, did the Lions need to record a win in their Week 3 contest in the desert. 

They were coming off 11 straight losses and a disappointing 0-2 start to the season, which led to a large amount of Detroit fans calling for the dismissal of both head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn this past week. 

Heck, even Fox NFL Sunday analyst Terry Bradshaw called for the firing of the duo prior to kickoff of the Lions' clash with the Cardinals.

"There will be changes made. I think Bob Quinn, the general manager, should be fired," Bradshaw said during the Fox pregame show. "The head coach (Patricia) has gotta go -- if not during the season, after the season. Nothing's changed there. There's still losing."

You can't blame anyone for feeling that way after the first two weeks of the NFL season, especially with how the Lions lost each game. 

In Week 1 against the Bears, Patricia & Co. allowed Mitchell Trubisky and the Chicago offense to score 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, capping off a 27-23 come-from-behind victory. 

Then, in Week 2, the team suffered another collapse. 

Detroit managed to blow a 14-3 lead against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. 

And from the second quarter on, the Packers outscored the Lions, 39-7. 

Fast-forward to Sunday, and the Detroit fanbase didn't have a lot of faith in its team pulling out the victory. 

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And NFL pundits from all over shared the sentiment. 

Many went as far as to pick the Cardinals to win by double-digits, including yours truly. 

There was certainly sound reason for it, too. 

However, this week's version of the Lions showcased a side of themselves that was non-existent the previous two weeks. 

The reason for that was the play of the defense.

Patricia's defense forced three Arizona turnovers -- all of the interception variety -- after failing to cause a single turnover in the first two games of the season.

Additionally, it didn't fall apart late in the game. Instead, it displayed a level of aggressiveness and grit that was clearly not on display against either the Bears or Packers. 

It led to Patricia & Co. pitching a shutout in the fourth quarter. 

Also, Matthew Stafford and the offense played error-free football for the first time this season.

Like I said, it wasn't completely pretty football, though, as the offensive line was shaky at times and allowed Stafford to be sacked four times by Cardinals defenders. 

Yet, it was by far Stafford's best game early on in the 2020 campaign. He threw for 270 yards and two touchdowns, and finished with a season-high passer rating of 119.0.

And most importantly, he spearheaded the final drive of the contest that set up Matt Prater's 39-yard, game-winning field goal as time expired. 

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"We really should score more points than we did. But, I'm happy that we got the chance late in the game as an offense to go out there and win the game, and we were able to do it," Stafford said in his postgame media session. "That's what I'm trying to hang my hat on. When the game is on the line, I want the ball, and I know we do on offense. So, it was great to get it done. Just have to be able to do it." 

Sure, it's just one win, and there's no way it's going to silence -- or should it -- the chatter of those that would like to see Patricia and Quinn ousted from their respective positions. 

But, for a franchise that was reeling as much as Detroit was heading into Sunday, it was still much-needed, as it provides a sliver of hope to the fanbase -- even if it fails to persist past this week.

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