Stafford's pick came two plays after Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer threw an equally ugly interception. Their kick returner also chose to chase a ball into the end zone and bring it out as well. And if there was any question about whether the hype surrounding him would carry into the regular season, Sunday's performance answered that.
But they also express the feelings of Arizona fans as they watched Detroit follow Johnson's injury by scoring 20 straight points.
His first touchdown, a 10-yarder, displayed the 6-foot-4, 213-pound receiver's catch radius and leaping ability. The Arizona attack has relied heavily on the pass against the Lions so far.
Key stat: The Lions held the Cardinals to just 45 rushing yards. It showed he might be an effective full-field weapon sooner than anyone imagined. Losing Johnson for any length of time would be detrimental to their postseason chances. With a tough schedule to start the year (facing playoff teams in the Giants and Falcons the next two weeks), picking up a win in Week 1 was critical. And second-year defense end Anthony Zettel posted the Lions' only sack of the game, and just the second of his career. His ability to turn small receptions into big gains opens up Detroit's offense.
The Lions defense will work hard defending the Cardinals.
Play of game: The Lions drafted receiver Kenny Golladay in the third round because they liked his size and speed, and pegged him to be a pretty good weapon down the field and in the red zone.
What I didn't like: Dwayne Washington as a kick returner - and neither did the Lions. Detroit also had some early issues on special teams, and had too many early penalties. He was replaced on kickoff returns in the second half by Agnew. He was 29 for 41 yards for 292 yards and threw 45- and 10-yard TD passes to Golladay, along with short passes to Theo Riddick and Marvin Jones for scores. Their punter, Kasey Redfern dropped a ball deep in their own end zone and instead of pooch punting, made a decision to run it out and was hit and knocked out of the game.