News & Analysis

NFL Week 1 PFF ReFocused: Arizona Cardinals 27, Detroit Lions 27

By PFF Analysis Team
Sep 9, 2019
Arizona Cardinals Detroit Lions

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Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals made a late surge to push the game into overtime, but Arizona and the Detroit Lions ultimately closed the game in a tie at 27-27.

PFF’s ReFocused series features immediate takeaways from the two analysts who graded the game live. The two offer a detailed breakdown of the game’s most notable performances before the grades and advanced stats are reviewed and finalized by Senior Analysts.

All of PFF’s grades and advanced stats from this game and the other games played this week will be finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers within 24 hours of the final whistle. ELITE subscribers can view player grades, advanced statistics, positional snap counts and more in Premium Stats.

PFF’s ELITE subscribers can also preview NFL and NCAA games in PFF Greenline, an online dashboard with projections for the spread, totals and moneyline.

Final Score

Arizona Cardinals 27, Detroit Lions 27

Arizona Cardinals

Terrell Suggs was absolutely unblockable for the Cardinals’ defense, just consistently beating left tackle Taylor Decker across from him. He had two sacks, one of them a strip-sack plus multiple hurries.

It was a game to forget for Tramaine Brock Sr. He gave up multiple first downs in coverage and also had a few busts that led to touchdowns. He did have a nice pass breakup in overtime to save a touchdown, but he also dropped a would-be game-winning interception later in that OT.

It was a tough day for right tackle Justin Murray, who was beaten in pass protection several times throughout the afternoon. Murray struggled trying to beat edge rushers to the spot, with most of his pressures coming from losing to the outside.

David Johnson seems to have returned to his 2017 form, as he had a strong afternoon on the ground. He also caught a touchdown pass on a wheel route late in the fourth quarter as the Cardinals were able to storm back from a double-digit deficit. Johnson did most of his work on first down and set up several manageable down-and-distance situations for Murray and cast.

Rookie Takeaways

Kyler Murray had an up-and-down performance in this one. He paired a handful of big-time throws with a handful of turnover-worthy plays and questionable decisions. He got better as the game went on, though, which is a good sign for him moving forward.

Detroit Lions

T.J. Hockenson was the star of the show for the Lions’ offense, as he had statistically the best debut for a tight end in league history. His blocking could use a little work, but as a receiver, he was everywhere. His touchdown catch showcased both his ability to find holes in the defense and use his body to shield defenders from the ball

Despite the result, Matt Stafford had himself a solid game minus one boneheaded decision that he lucked out on. He took what the Cardinals gave him and made good throws to give his team a good chance to win the game. He almost cost them the game, though, with a terrible dropped interception in overtime.

Devon Kennard was just one of the stellar performers on the elite Lions defensive line on Sunday. Kennard, who did most of his damage as a pass-rusher, made Murray uncomfortable all afternoon long and was especially effective in the second half.

Second-year defensive back Tracy Walker had a tough night, allowing a momentum-shifting 41-yard catch early in the fourth quarter on a 3rd-and-long. Walker also struggled to add support in the run game.

Rookie Takeaways

Hockenson showed out, but fellow rookie Jahlani Tavai did not. He struggled as a pass-rusher and didn’t make up for it in run defense or coverage.

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