DETROIT, Dec. 5 -- Kevin Jones refused to even crack a smile when told he accomplished something Barry Sanders didn't as a Detroit Lions rookie. The running back insists his goals are loftier.
Jones ran for 196 yards and a touchdown to lead Detroit over the Arizona Cardinals, 26-12, ending the Lions' five-game losing streak Sunday and keeping their playoff hopes alive in the muddled and mediocre NFC.
"We needed this real bad," Jones said. "If we lost, we had no chance for the playoffs."
Jones fell one yard short of Mel Farr's rookie rushing record (1967) for the Lions but surpassed Sanders's best day as a rookie in 1989 by 12 yards.
Jason Hanson made 4 of 4 field goals and Dre Bly had two interceptions for the Lions (5-7), who took command of the game in the third quarter and coasted in the fourth.
Arizona (4-8) lost its third straight with its third quarterback in four weeks. Rookie John Navarre, who had not taken a snap in the regular season, threw four interceptions and went 18 of 40 for 168 yards with a touchdown.