If only Jared Goff could face the Arizona Cardinals every week.
Going into Week 15, the Lions quarterback had a 7-1 career record against the Cardinals, including 3-0 against Kliff Kingsbury, and he continued to terrorize them on Sunday. Goff threw three touchdown passes as the Lions beat the Cardinals 30-12 in what might go down as the most shocking upset of the 2021 season.
If you’re wondering how surprising this win was, just consider this: It marked just the third time since 1970 that the team with the NFL’s worst record beat a team with the best record (or tied for the best record) when each team has played at least eight games.
On a paper, this game seemed like a total mismatch, but Goff quickly took that paper and set it on fire during a nearly perfect first half where he threw two touchdown passes.
It was clear pretty early that the Lions might be able to pull off an upset in this game. On their first possession, Goff drove them 63 yards for a field goal. The only thing more impressive than that drive was what the Lions did on the next drive. Starting at his own 7-yard line, Goff led the Lions on a 93-yard jaunt that ended with a 37-yard touchdown pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown.
Goff has had some trouble taking care of the ball this year, but against Arizona, he was nearly perfect, going 21 of 26 for 216 yards and three touchdowns. His best throw of the day probably came on his second touchdown when he threaded the needle just before halftime to hit Josh Reynolds with a 22-yard score.
The fact that Goff was so thoroughly able to outduel Kyler Murray was just as much of a surprise as the Lions’ win itself.
The win over the Cardinals is a testament to what Dan Campbell is doing in Detroit. This team could have quit on him at any point this season — you know, like the Jaguars did to Urban Meyer — but every week, he has this team playing hard, and every week, it seems…