GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Carson Palmer knew Detroit's reputation for penalties, so when he let go of his pass with the game on the line, a pass interference call was a definite possibility.
"It's something we talked about a lot," Palmer said. "Those DBs play the receiver, they don't play the ball, and when we have opportunities and they're staring at the receiver, they're going to face-guard. Dre (Roberts) did a great job setting that up."
"It's not always going to be perfect," Arians said. "You've got to learn how to ride the emotions of the game, stay with it. I thought our coaches did a great job with some adjustments in the second half and some young kids really stepped up."
Time and again, Detroit found itself starting deep in its own territory.
"I feel like we lost the field position battle today big-time," Stafford said.
"We're making a concerted effort to try and play cleaner football this year," he said. "I don't know. Maybe (we should be) asking them to quit throwing flags on us, I don't know."
Detroit's Reggie Bush left the game after taking a helmet to the knee early in the second quarter, and played only briefly in the second half.
"I was able to go back in the game, but I wasn't myself," he said. "I probably shouldn't have gone back in the game, but I tried to give it a shot. We will see what happens this week. I am not sure, but I don't think it is anything serious."
Arizona's defense, which held the Lions' offense scoreless in the second half, forced Detroit to punt from its own 8-yard line late.
"We pride ourselves on showing up when it matters," Arizona defensive tackle Darnell Dockett said, "and we showed up at the end of the game when it really mattered."
After an incomplete pass, Palmer handed off to Mendenhall, who stretched the ball over the goal line with one hand for the deciding score.
Stafford completed 24 of 36 for 278 yards and two TDs, but was only 8 of 16 for 77 yards in the second half. Palmer finished 22 of 39 for 248 yards.
Actually, Akers misfired twice in Detroit's first scoring threat. His 52-yard attempt was wide right, but Bethel was called for running into the kicker. Then, Akers' 47-yard attempt was wide left.
Feely made his 47-yard try to put Arizona up 3-0 with 11:44 left in the half.
Three plays later, Stafford threw short over the middle to Johnson, who raced 72 yards for the score. Arizona's Karlos Dansby had a chance to knock the pass down or intercept, but Stafford threw the ball so hard it zipped through the linebacker's hands.
The Cardinals responded with a six-play, 80-yard drive on their next possession. Palmer lofted a 22-yard pass to Fitzgerald, then found Ellington open on a 36-yard play for the score to put Arizona up 10-7 with 7:32 to play in the second quarter.
Detroit regained the lead with a 10-play, 92-yard touchdown drive capped by Stafford's 3-yard touchdown pass to Johnson with 1:55 left in the half.
Notes: After the game, Peterson asked Johnson to trade jerseys and the Lions star obliged. ... Besides defending Johnson and returning punts, Peterson also caught a pass and completed one. ... Detroit is the only team Arizona has beaten in the Cardinals' last 14 games. Arizona has beaten the Lions twice and gone 0-12 against everyone else ... Campbell got Arizona's first sack of the season.
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press