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Cardinals cruise to third blowout in last four games

The Arizona Cardinals' defense generated six turnovers, forcing Matthew Stafford out of the game in a 42-17 blowout victory at the Detroit Lions in Week 5. Here's what you need to know:

  1. Pay no attention to last week's aberrant loss in which Arizona doubled St. Louis' 13 first downs. The Cardinals have a strong case as the NFL's most complete team, starting with their dominant point differential of 100 -- the best through five games since the record-breaking 2007 Patriots squad.

Carson Palmer's 154.2 passer rating Sunday was the second-best of his career and second in franchise history to Kurt Warner's 158.3 versus the Dolphins in 2008. Entrenched as the lead back, Chris Johnson is running like the last four years never happened. David Johnson is the first rookie since Hall of Famer Gale Sayers (1965) with two rushing scores, two receiving scores and a kickoff return touchdown in his team's first five games. Larry Fitzgerald is a prototypical go-to receiver, John Brown stretches the field and Michael Floyd and Andre Ellington provide quality depth. Their 190 points scored are seventh-most in NFL history through five games.

The defense shuts down the run and wreaks havoc in the passing game, exemplified by five takeaways in the first 35 minutes of Sunday's laugher. Barring a serious injury to Palmer, an ultra-aggressive Bruce Arians will be coaching a powerhouse all season long.

  1. Stafford was benched in favor ofDan Orlovsky early in the third quarter of a 35-7 game after tossing his third interception of the afternoon. Stafford has steadily regressed since Joe Lombardi replaced Scott Linehan as offensive coordinator early in 2014. He already has eight interceptions after tossing just 12 last season. More worrisome, he's now sensing the rush and hesitating to pull the trigger behind a leaky offensive line. With a backsliding quarterback and a defense sorely missing Ndamukong Suh and a healthy DeAndre Levy, Jim Caldwell is overseeing one of the NFL's worst teams.
  1. Lions rookie Ameer Abdullah is in the doghouse after fumbling twice in the first half of Sunday's game. It's worth noting that his college fumble rate was the highest among tailback prospects in the 2015 NFL Draft. His obvious playmaking ability has also been stifled with no holes to exploit. With or without a healthy Joique Bell, he can't afford to keep fumbling.
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