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Phil Dawson Finds Redemption

Notes: Cardinals kicker misses then makes game-winner; Chris Johnson gets work


Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson screams out his emotion of joy after booting the game-winning field goal Sunday against the Colts.

INDIANAPOLIS – Phil Dawson knew exactly what Cardinals fans were thinking when his first game-winning field goal attempt on Sunday went wide right: that the ghosts of 2016 were back.

And even though Dawson wasn't even on the team during the special teams tribulations of last year, he was overjoyed at a second chance. After the errant 42-yard try at the end of regulation, Dawson nailed a 30-yarder early in overtime to give the Cardinals a 16-13 win over the Colts.

He punctuated it with a yell and a fist pump.

"Since I became a Cardinal, I've had to hear about last year almost daily," Dawson said. "That builds up. To be around that so much and hear that so much, it's hard not to get caught up in that. To have it go the other way, it all came to the surface pretty quick."

Dawson has missed two field goals in the first two games, but safety Tyrann Mathieu had a huge interception early in overtime to set him up for redemption. He originally made the game-winner in regulation, but it was waved off because Colts coach Chuck Pagano called timeout right before the snap.

"Just didn't regroup fast enough," Dawson said. "Made the first one and they called timeout. I didn't realize they had called timeout so I thought we had won the game. Find out we had to reload. Credit them for that. Thought I got roughed on the second one but doesn't matter now. Defense got a huge turnover and we went out and redeemed ourselves."

Coach Bruce Arians was asked if he had any less faith in Dawson as he lined up for the kick in overtime, but that wasn't running through his head.

"I was still in shock from the other one," Arians said.


It didn't take long for Chris Johnson to again become an option on offense. Kerwynn Williams didn't have much luck carrying the ball early, so the Cardinals turned to Johnson, who led the team in both yards (44) and carries (11).

The veteran running back was released before the season but re-signed this week in wake of the David Johnson injury. He didn't know what type of role he was going to have in the contest, but wanted to show he still has some tread left on the tires at the age of 31.

"I was just trying to work myself through camp, going on 10 years," Johnson said. "I know I've still got the burst. Hopefully the runs that I had showed them that I still got the burst, and I can still handle a full workload."

Johnson started the second half at running back.

"The plays that he likes were kind of clicking," Arians said. "We went with him because he was nice and fresh."


The Cardinals' defense played pretty well throughout and really dominated when the pass-rush was revved up. That was mostly the doing of outside linebacker Chandler Jones.

He finished with a pair of sacks and a forced fumble. Jones now has three sacks on the season.

"We didn't get enough pressure," Arians said. "Once we started getting the pressure, good things happened."

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