Cardinals defensive end Cory Redding attempts to hurdle Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford after intercepting him.
DETROIT – Two defensive backs nabbed interceptions for the Cardinals on Sunday, but that's in their job description. When a defensive lineman picks one off, it really gets a postgame locker room buzzing.
Following a dominant six-turnover performance by the defense in Sunday's 42-17 victory over the Lions, much of the attention focused on the pick-and-sprint by veteran defensive end Cory Redding in the second quarter.
Redding intercepted a screen pass in what was then a tie game, returned it 30 yards and nearly scored on the play. Before the play, defensive line coach Brentson Buckner called out what Detroit was going to run, which earned praise from coach Bruce Arians in his postgame press conference. The only issue was Redding never heard Buckner.
"In the game, it's tunnel vision," Redding said. "You don't really hear anything until the play is over."
Redding picked up on the same cues that Buckner did and shadowed Detroit running back Ameer Abdullah as he leaked out of the backfield. Redding jumped in the passing lane as quarterback Matthew Stafford delivered the ball, tipped it in the air and corralled it. He took off toward the corner of the end zone with only Stafford to beat, but a hurdle attempt wasn't successful and Redding went down at the 4.
"I was just trying to get as many yards as I could," said Redding, who played his first six seasons with the Lions. "I saw Stafford looking at my legs and I figured I could try to jump over him. But he got me pretty good. I'm glad I made a play to help my team get a score."
For as much praise as his teammates gave Redding for the interception, they also didn't hold back for his failure to evade Stafford.
"That was like Calais (Campbell against Peyton Manning and the Broncos) last year," safety Tyrann Mathieu said. "You're not supposed to let a quarterback tackle you."
Redding's forced turnover was a common theme, as the Cardinals picked off four passes and recovered a pair of fumbles in the blowout win. Safety Rashad Johnson had two interceptions and a fumble recovery, safety Tony Jefferson forced two fumbles, cornerback Patrick Peterson intercepted a pass and defensive end Josh Mauro recovered a fumble.
One week after failing to create a turnover in a 24-22 loss to the Rams, the defense was back to its disruptive ways.
"They were like piranhas today and there was blood in the water," Arians said.
Mathieu seemed ready to join the party late, but an easy interception popped up out of his hands. He began to settle under the deflection, but Johnson got there first.
"We officially came up with a new rule," Mathieu said. "Any time a defensive back deflects the ball, (he) has to have the opportunity to catch it. Rashad did not give me the opportunity to catch the ball again."
Johnson started the rash of turnovers by intercepting Stafford on the first possession. The Cardinals picked off Stafford three times in all, eventually leading to his benching in the third quarter.
"We were able to move him off his spot," Johnson said. "When Matthew's moving, he's not at his best, and I think that showed early in the game."
The defense kept the game close early on as the offense started slowly, and kept it up throughout as the Cardinals eventually pulled away.
"It was fun out there seeing everybody attack the ball," Jefferson said. "We were really aggressive, and that's what we wanted to do going into the game. After a loss last week, we knew we had to step up. We did."