Cards Use Takeaways To Hold Off Browns
Sunday, December 2nd 2007, 7:06 pm
By: News On 6
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Mistakes made the difference in Arizona, and the Cardinals beat another AFC North team.
Arizona turned three of Cleveland's four turnovers into touchdowns, Edgerrin James topped 100 yards rushing for only the second time this season and the Cardinals held on to beat the Browns 27-21 on Sunday.
Kurt Warner threw two touchdown passes and Neil Rackers kicked a pair of late field goals as Arizona (6-6) improved to 3-1 against the AFC North. The Cardinals' other victories were over Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.
Derek Anderson threw for 304 yards and had two touchdown tosses, but was intercepted twice and fumbled the ball away once for the Browns (7-5), who lost for just the second time in seven games. Two of the turnovers came on Cleveland's first two possessions and led to touchdowns that put the Cardinals ahead 14-0.
Rod Hood returned an interception 71 yards for a touchdown for the first score. On the next possession, Anderson's fumbled snap led to Warner's 5-yard TD pass to Leonard Pope.
James gained 114 yards on 24 carries, getting 38 of the yards on eight attempts during Arizona's drive for the final field goal.
The Browns got a controversial 67-yard touchdown pass from Anderson to Braylon Edwards, and a 2-point conversion, to cut the lead to 21-18 on the final play of the third quarter.
A pair of late personal foul penalties damaged the Browns' chances for a final comeback.
Still, Cleveland drove to the Arizona 37 in the final seconds.
On the last play, Anderson threw to the left side of the end zone for Kellen Winslow. The big tight end caught it, but was ruled out of bounds. Cleveland challenged that he was forced out, and after the players milled on the field during the review, the ruling on the field was upheld.
The Cardinals, already playing without Larry Fitzgerald with a groin injury, lost Anquan Boldin, their other standout receiver, to an injured left foot in the third quarter.
Edwards caught seven passes for 149 yards to top 1,000 yards for the season.
The fourth Cleveland turnover came in the third quarter when Joshua Cribs muffed a punt and Ralph Brown recovered for Arizona at the Cleveland 22.
The Cardinals scored on a third-down 1-yard pass from Warner to Bryant Johnson and went up 21-10 in the third quarter.
The Browns literally flipped for their next score.
Anderson threw to Edwards, who did a somersault between two Arizona defenders, then ran the remaining 25 yards for a touchdown.
The Cardinals challenged, contending Edwards was down on contact by safety Terrence Holt, but the 67-yard touchdown play stood. Cribs threw to Winslow for the 2-point conversion to cut the lead to 21-18.
Steve Breaston returned the subsequent kickoff 59 yards, leading to Rackers' 33-yard field goal with 12:10 to play. Breaston, a rookie out of Michigan, also figured in the final score by Arizona. He caught a 21-yard pass from Warner, then was the recipient of a late hit. The personal foul penalty against Brodney Pool made it a 36-yard play. The drive stalled at the Cleveland 2, and Rackers' 19-yard field goal put the Cardinals up 27-21 with 2:10 to go.