LaRod Stephens-Howling breaks downfield during the Cardinals' 17-13 win over the Rams Sunday in St. Louis.
ST. LOUIS –
Derek Anderson chuckled, recounting what turned out to be his game-winning touchdown drive Sunday.
“I needed that more than people know,” the Cardinals’ quarterback said with a weary grin.
So did the Cards.
In an emotional roller-coaster of a opener at the Edward Jones Dome, the Cardinals ended up holding off the Rams, 17-13, for a victory that was at once much needed and never certain. The new parts of the Cardinals clearly hadn’t come together completely – that was clear by a handful of Anderson misfires, penalties and turnovers – but it was enough.
“When we had to make the plays,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said, “we pulled them out.”
There was wide receiver
There was Anderson recovering from his rocky – at best – mid-game – to throw for 101 yards (because of penalties) on the game-winning drive. There was safety
That doesn’t even include Breaston’s career-high 132 yards receiving, the 49 yards rushing by third-string back LaRod Stephens-Howling with
“You get numb to (these games),” Breaston said. “It always seems like it comes down to the last play. But I think we’ve done it enough, we have the character to come through.”
The Cards (1-0) are even in first place with the surprising Seattle Seahawks, after the Seahawks manhandled preseason favorite San Francisco. The 49ers’ result just emphasized what the Cards felt when it was over – they just wanted the victory.
Anderson completed 22-of-41 passes for 297 yards and his touchdown, a 21-yarder to
The defense had enough. Wilson said the Cardinals didn’t do anything special to attack Bradford, and it was surprising the Rams called on the rookie to throw 55 passes in such a close game. His throw that was picked off by free safety
But running back
Whisenhunt said the obvious, that he wasn’t happy with the fumbles. But, clearly happy with a win, simply added, “Our expectation is we will get better.”
“It wasn’t pretty by any means,” Anderson said, “but we’ll take it.”