Cardinals use late heroics to beat ChargersPosted: Sunday August 17, 2003 1:34 AM
Updated: Sunday August 17, 2003 1:34 AM
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Once the starters were gone, the Arizona Cardinals turned an exhibition stinker into an exciting game.
Emmitt Smith suited up but didn't play, spending the game on the Cardinals' sideline wearing a baseball cap and talking to teammates.
LaDainian Tomlinson played two days after taking himself out of practice at the Chargers' hot and humid training camp in Carson, an industrial suburb of Los Angeles. He carried twice for 14 yards and caught one pass for six yards.
The Cardinals (2-0) came within 2:22 of their second straight shutout. They beat Smith's old team, the Dallas Cowboys, 13-0 a week earlier.
It's taken the Chargers (0-2) until the fourth quarter to find the end zone in their first two exhibitions. Fourth-stringer Cleo Lemon threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to rookie free agent Grant Mattos with 2:22 left.
With the score tied at 3, Lucas, a fifth-year safety, picked off third-stringer Seth Burford and ran it back untouched with 8:27 left in the third quarter.
"Having Justin Lucas go in for the touchdown added an exclamation point on our defensive performance and gave us more breathing room," linebacker Levar Fisher said.
Chargers rookie Mike Scifres had a 50-yard punt that was downed at the Arizona 2, but on the first play of the Cardinals drive, Anderson broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage and raced 82 yards before being caught from behind by rookie Drayton Florence.
Bill Gramatica capped the drive with a 31-yard field goal for a 13-3 lead with 4:43 left in the third. Gramatica kicked a 22-yarder early in the fourth quarter.
Burford was sacked five times in the third quarter. Quentin Harris intercepted Lemon at the Arizona 1 late in the fourth quarter.
The Chargers didn't have much trouble moving the ball in the first half. They just couldn't score touchdowns.
"We moved the ball effectively but you don't get any medals for yards gained," coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "We've got to find a way to finish those drives."
After Eric Parker's 93-yard punt return for a touchdown was nullified by a holding penalty against Quentin Jammer, the Chargers started the drive on their 4. Drew Brees led them on a 16-play drive that stalled at the Arizona 12, and Steve Christie kicked a 30-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead.
Eagles 21, Steelers 16
The slow-moving game, delayed by replay reviews and 147 yards of penalties just in the first half, was halted by lightning for 31 minutes in the third quarter and didn't end until more than four hours after starting.
The Eagles (2-0) went three-and-out on their first two possessions before putting together drives of 66 and 87 yards to open a 14-3 lead on Correll Buckhalter's 1-yard run and Feeley's 1-yard completion to Kori Dickerson. Just before halftime, Freddie Milons' 82-yard kickoff return set up Feeley's second 1-yard scoring pass, to Billy McMullen.
The Steelers are 0-2.
Saints 22, Jets 17
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Todd Bouman guided two scoring drives and New Orleans scored three second-half touchdowns.
Deuce McAllister played the first half after sitting out the opener against Philadelphia. He finished with 11 carries for 45 yards -- including a nice 17-yard run in the second quarter -- and caught three passed for 14 yards for the Saints (1-1).
Chad Pennington threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Curtis Conway with 28 seconds left in the first half for the Jets (1-2).
Broncos 15, Bears 10
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Jarious Jackson connected with Frank Rice on a 36-yard fourth-down pass before sneaking in for a touchdown with 18 seconds left as Denver (2-0) beat Chicago (1-1).
Jackson drove the Broncos 80 yards on 15 plays in the final three minutes. The big play was his fourth-down pass to Rice that carried to the Chicago 15.
Starting quarterbacks Jake Plummer, who visited the Bears during the free agent recruiting period before signing with the Broncos, and Kordell Stewart played two series each. Plummer was 8-of-13 passes for 117 yards, and Stewart was 3-of-8 for 28.
Titans 37, Bills 24
The Titans (2-0) led 21-0 before the Bills (1-1) finally scored and had little problem with a Buffalo defense retooled during the offseason after ranking 27th in points allowed last year.
McNair was 8-of-12 for 70 yards.
Chiefs 26, Vikings 16
Todd Collins also threw a TD pass for Kansas City (2-1), and Morten Andersen kicked three field goals and Jose Cortez made one.
The Vikings (0-2) got a 1-yard TD run in the first quarter from rookie Onterrio Smith.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.