Fresh off their sixth victory in seven games, the three
"This is my first 'Victory Monday.'"
Victory Mondays are a funny tradition, and they change from coach to coach. Typically, a team will pass a certain milestone — eight games, maybe 10 — and then, after a big win, a coach will give the players Monday off. Until now, those days have been just a rumor to Orlovsky, who has endured starts of 0-8 or worse with three separate franchises.
He started seven games for the 0-16 Lions in 2008, was at the helm for the only two victories by the 2-14
So Orlovsky, who backs up starter
Who would have imagined Detroit at Arizona would be the game of the week in mid-November?
The Lions haven't been 7-2 since 1993, during the Barry Sanders years.
The Cardinals haven't been 8-1 since 1948, when they were the Chicago Cardinals.
"We haven't done anything yet," Caldwell said. "We played nine games and you don't get any awards for being 7-2."
But Arians wasn't so quick to dismiss the magnitude of the moment.
"Hell, yeah," he said when asked whether he's eyeing the
In that sense, Orlovsky is in the Arians camp, savoring each victory and fully appreciating what it means to the city of Detroit.
"The reality of Detroit is it's a city that over the past decade has been hit hard by economic stuff," he said before practice Thursday, "Then, once you start getting into this time of year the sun doesn't come out as much. It's grayer. It's cold … It's almost like you are providing the sun. The happiness, the joy, the something to look forward to, the hope."
Of course, Orlovsky is seeing this all from the perspective of a guy holding a clipboard. And though he'd love to play, he knows the Lions have something special in Stafford, who — along with the NFL's top-ranked defense — has led them to victories with fourth-quarter comebacks in each of the last three games.
"That's big when everyone looks around on the sideline and goes, 'We've got a chance because we've got Matt leading us,'" he said.
Stafford said three consecutive come-from-behind victories are "not something you obviously want to make a living doing too often.
"You'd like to be in a four-minute offense as much as you can and have the ability to run the clock out and win the game. But at the same time, this is the NFL. Every game every week is competitive."
The Cardinals, meanwhile, have lost their offensive leader. Quarterback
But as capable as Stanton is, Palmer was the starter for a reason. Logic says the Cardinals will take a step backward on offense, and yet there was nary a hiccup when Stanton came in against the
Stanton is no stranger to the Lions, who selected him in the second round of the 2007 draft. Eventually, he would back up Stafford, the first of three No. 1 overall picks he has played behind, the others being Indianapolis'
"We'll do our normal preparation," Arians said. "Nothing's changing. Nothing's changing because we're playing with a different quarterback. We've already been down this road, so we had three weeks of preparation in case something like this happened and we're more than ready for it. No one has to do anything more or less; just do your job and we'll be fine."
These days, Orlovsky doesn't mind being a backup at all. At long last, he's enjoying himself.
"Now I know why guys in Baltimore and Pittsburgh and New England play for so long," he said. "Because it's fun. It's a completely different experience for me to be on a team that's not only good but really good.
"Playing meaningful games here, the heart, in the back end of November and December. Hopefully it continues. It's a very much different experience than the first decade of my career."
Then, there was the vote of confidence on that jog with Stafford. All those years, all those losses…
Said Orlovsky: "Matt looked at me and laughed and said, 'Well, at least you know it's not you anymore.'"