Cardinals 17, Lions 10
Sunday, November 19th 2006, 7:14 pm
By: News On 6
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Matt Leinart finally is a winner in the NFL.
The Arizona rookie threw for 233 yards and a touchdown and ran 9 yards for a score to help the Cardinals snap an eight-game losing streak with a 17-10 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
In his first victory in six NFL starts, Leinart completed 19 of 29 passes with no interceptions. In the 2nd and 3rd quarters, Leinart was 14-15 for 202 yards.
Edgerrin James gained 96 yards in 22 carries, his best day since coming to the Cardinals this season.
The Lions (2-8), who lost running back Kevin Jones to an ankle injury late in the first quarter, rallied from a 17-0 deficit.
Jon Kitna directed a 14-play, 97-yard touchdown drive, with backup running back Arlen Harris scoring from a yard out to cut the lead to seven points with 4:35 to play.
A 15-yard facemask penalty on Chris Cooper's sack of Kitna helped the drive. On the next play, Kitna threw 23 yards to Dan Campbell to the Cardinals 3.
The Cardinals (2-8), though, chewed up the remaining time after the kickoff, with James doing most of the damage and Marcel Shipp gaining 3 yards for a crucial 1st down.
Kitna finished 23-38 for 233 yards and was intercepted once. He was sacked 3 times, twice by Bertrand Berry, who left the game with an elbow injury in the 2nd half.
The Lions threatened first when Casey FitzSimmons blocked Scott Player's punt to give Detroit the ball at the Arizona 14. But three plays later, Gerald Hayes tipped Kitna's pass and Aaron Francisco intercepted.
The game remained scoreless until midway through the 2nd quarter, when Leinart, on a ``flea-flicker'' play with James pitching the ball back to the quarterback, threw a 24-yard pass to Larry Fitzgerald down the right sideline. Fitzgerald landed out of bounds but officials ruled that he was forced out by Dre' Bly.
The drive went 88 yards in 11 plays, capped by Leinart's 2-yard scoring pass to Bryant Johnson and Arizona led 7-0 with 6:28 to go in the half.
Neil Rackers' 38-yard field goal with 1:53 to go gave the Cardinals a 10-0 halftime lead.
Anquan Boldin caught a 44-yard pass from Leinart, despite a pass interference penalty on Bly, to set up the rookie quarterback's 9-yard scramble for a touchdown that gave the Cardinals a 17-0 lead with 11:57 to go in the 3rd quarter. Boldin had 5 catches for 87 yards.
Detroit finally launched a drive, and a pass interference penalty against David Macklin gave the Lions 1st & Goal at the 1. But the Lions lost 13 yards on the next three plays, the last six on Berry's second sack of the game. Jason Hanson's 32-yard field made it 17-3 with 2:50 left in the 3rd.