Cardinals overrun Chargers, Lions cruise past NYG
GLENDALE, Arizona (AP) — Arizona rookie John Brown caught a 13-yard scoring pass from quarterback Carson Palmer with 2:25 to play to lift the Cardinals to an 18-17 win over the San Diego Chargers on Monday.
In the night’s other game, Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford led the Lions to a 35-14 victory over the New York Giants.
Arizona had a big advantage in yards in the first two quarters but led only 6-3 through two field goals by rookie kicker Chandler Catanzaro.
San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers went 6 for 6 for 82 yards on a drive to open the second half and his six-yard pass to Malcom Floyd for the touchdown put the Chargers ahead 10-6.
Jerry Attaochu blocked a punt to help set up that score, and later forced a fumble bv Palmer which led to Ryan Mathews running 20 yards for a TD that put San Diego up 17-6.
The Cardinals finally got a touchdown on a 10-play, 64-yard drive. Palmer scrambled and then tossed five yards to Stepfan Taylor to cut the lead to 17-12 with 12:30 to play. The two-point conversion try failed.
After the ensuing kickoff, the Chargers appeared to be headed for at least a field goal, but a snap bounced off Rivers, and by the time he fell on the ball, San Diego was out of field-goal range.
The Cardinals took the punt at their 9-yard line with 6:50 to go and mounted the long scoring march that led to the winning score.
The 11-play, 91-yard drive culminated with Palmer making a short lateral pass to Brown, who eluded tacklers and made it to the end zone.
In Detroit, quarterback Stafford improvised brilliantly on two early touchdown passes to Calvin Johnson, leading the Lions to a comfortable win over the Giants in Jim Caldwell’s first game as coach.
Stafford also ran for a TD for Detroit, which intercepted Giants quarterback Eli Manning twice.
It was a bright start for Detroit, which collapsed late last year and missed the playoffs, prompting the firing of coach Jim Schwartz.
Stafford went 22 of 32 for 346 yards while Johnson had seven catches for 164 yards.
Manning was 18 of 33 for 163 yards and a touchdown for the Giants, who started 0-6 last season and have started 2014 in similarly uncompetitive style.
Stafford scrambled to his right and threw deep to Johnson on the game’s first drive as New York’s defensive backs collided, allowing the Lions’ star receiver to jog into the end zone for a 67-yard touchdown.
Later in the first, Stafford scrambled to his left, and then threw back to his right. Johnson made a diving catch in the back of the end zone for a 16-yard TD and the Lions were in control from then on.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL