The Arizona Cardinals first game of the 2017 season against the Detroit Lions was a roller coaster ride.

From Justin Bethel’s pick six, to Carson Palmer’s terrible performance, and to the gut-wrenching injury to David Johnson, week 1 of the season came with a whirl wind of emotions. Despite the terrible things that happened on Sunday, the Cardinals still had a chance to win the game after the 3rd quarter ended. It took a huge 4th quarter by the Lions to beat this team. The question becomes, where do the Cardinals go from here?

David Johnson

The most obvious question today is, how long will David Johnson be out with his wrist injury? First reports last night were a mix of two weeks to a half of season, or even longer. Today, the reports are a bit better:

According to Adam Schefter, Johnson’s MRI came back and the results aren’t good.

Carson Palmer

The fact that Carson Palmer struggled on Sunday wasn’t too much of a surprise to me. Tom Brady struggled on Thursday with a Chiefs defense that seemed to exploit the fact that Tom Brady hasn’t quite developed a chemistry with anyone else than the injured Amendola and Edleman.It’ll take some time.

Palmer didn’t look confident after his first possession interception. Even though Fitzgerald, Nelson and John Brown had 4 plus receptions, the Cardinals never had any rhythm. Maybe it has to do with his off-season where the Cardinals really held Palmer back in terms of how many throws they wanted out of him. It could also have to do with him being 37 years old. Or it could just mean, they had a bad game. Whatever reason is true, the Cardinals held the lead for 3 quarters despite the mistakes.

Palmer will bounce back. Tom Brady lost the first game of the season when he was 38, and they ended up winning the Super Bowl. Just saying!

The Cardinals Defense

The Cardinals defense held the lead for the Cardinals at 17-15 through 3 quarters and then the Lions stepped up and scored 20 unanswered points. Tyvon Branch led the Cardinals defense with 11 tackles and rookie Haason Reddick looked like a stud. He collected 8 tackles with two of them for a loss.

This Cardinals defense played well for 3 quarters. They ended up having a terrible 4th quarter because they were on the field for a long time. The Lions opened the 4th quarter with a 10 play, 67 yard drive that led to a touchdown. Arizona’s drive that followed that Lions score lasted 4 plays and then a punt.

Detroit scored again after that punt on a 5 play, 72 yard drive. Following that Lions scoring drive, Carson Palmer threw an interception in which Miles Killebrew returned 35 yards for a TD.

Conclusion

After the conclusion of this first game, the Cardinals have to be happy with the way their defense played. They held Mathew Stafford and the Lions in check for three quarters. The game would have been different if David Johnson hadn’t gotten injured and left the game. Palmer would’ve thrown the ball less and the Cardinals would’ve rode Johnson down the stretch and eaten up some clock.

It was a tough loss, but they were on the road against a playoff caliber team. Good news is, the only team in the NFC west to win was the Los Angeles Rams. The Cardinals will bounce back against the Colts this weekend.

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