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Cardinals' defense steps up again in win over Lions

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The Arizona Cardinals are an NFL-best 9-1 after a 14-6 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium. Our takeaways:

1. The Cardinals no longer have the services of Carson Palmer, but they still have their fierce defense. The formidable unit didn't budge against a dangerous Lions attack, holding Matthew Stafford to just 183 yards passing (his lowest total of the season). The Lions managed just two Matt Prater field goals and were shut out in the second half.

2. So far, so good for Drew Stanton, who improves to 3-1 as Arizona's starter. Bruce Arians showed some serious faith in his quarterback when he called for a pass on the third-and-11 with less than three minutes to play. Stanton picked up 11 on a connection with Larry Fitzgerald, justifying his coach's trust and putting the game away.

3. Jim Caldwell was too conservative on multiple fourth-and-short calls, showing a lack of trust in his own offense. When he finally went for it on fourth-and-2 midway through the fourth quarter, Stafford couldn't connect with Johnson. The Lions got too cute in going away from Joique Bell, who averaged 6.1 yards per carry on 14 rushes.

4. Arizona's secondary gets a gold star for holding Megatron and Golden Tate to just 100 yards on seven receptions. Tate was especially quiet, targeted just twice.

5. Michael Floyd has gotten lost in Arians' game plan this season, but he stepped up with touchdown receptions of 42 and 12 yards in this first quarter. They were his only catches of the day.

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