Peterson's 99-yard return gives Arizona 19-13 win - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Peterson's 99-yard return gives Arizona 19-13 win

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Posted: Saturday, November 5, 2011 8:01 pm | Updated: 10:10 pm, Mon Nov 7, 2011.

(AP) — Patrick Peterson sure delivered a dramatic end to his team's six-game losing streak.

The rookie cornerback returned a punt 99 yards for a touchdown in overtime to give the Arizona Cardinals a stunning 19-13 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.

Peterson, whose pass interference penalty moments earlier seemed to set up the Rams (1-7) for a game-winning field goal, fielded the ball at the 1. He evaded and bounced off tacklers over the next 30 yards or so, then outran everyone, striding the last few yards in celebration of his third punt return TD of the season as Arizona (2-6) won for the first time since the opening week of the season.

It was the second punt return in NFL history to win a game in overtime. The other was 86 yards by Tamarick Vanover of Kansas City to beat San Diego on Oct. 9, 1995.

Arizona's Calais Campbell blocked Josh Brown's 42-yard field goal attempt as regulation ended to force the overtime.

John Skelton, starting in place of Arizona's Kevin Kolb, gave up safeties on consecutive plays in the third quarter, then threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald with 4:51 to tie the game at 13-13.

Brown had field goals of 48, 37 and 41 yards.

Steven Jackson rushed for 130 yards in 29 carries and Sam Bradford, back after missing two games with a high ankle sprain, completed 23 of 36 for 255 yards. Skelton was 20 of 35 for 222 yards for the Rams.

Donnie Jones twice pinned the Cardinals inside their 10-yard line in the third quarter to set up the safeties. The first punt was downed at the 2. Arizona moved it to the 5, then James Hall burst through for a sack for a safety that boosted St. Louis' lead to 11-6. Arizona got the ball at its 9 the next time, and Skelton was called for intentional grounding on a rollout pass, giving the Rams a 13-6 lead.

It was the first time a player yielded two safeties in a quarter since Aaron Rodgers did it against Minnesota on Nov. 9, 2008. The last player to have safeties on consecutive plays was Kordell Stewart of Pittsburgh against Jacksonville on Oct. 3, 1999.

The safeties marked the first time in NFL history that a team had scored a total of four points in a quarter.

Skelton, a 2010 fifth-round draft pick out of Fordham, brought the Cardinals back. He completed 5 of 7 passes for 47 yards and scrambled twice for 28 on a nine-play, 84-yard drive for the game's only touchdown on a leaping grab by Fitzgerald in the back of the end zone.

The Rams took the subsequent kickoff and drove to the Arizona 32, where they had third-and-1, but twice Jackson was stopped for no gain, the first time by O'Brien Schofield, the second by Darnell Dockett.

The Cardinals couldn't take advantage, though, because Skelton fumbled but recovered for a 15-yard loss and Arizona had to punt with a minute to play in regulation.

Bradford's 23-yard pass to Austin Pettis moved the ball to the 42, then a 5-yarder to Pettis moved it to the 37. Cornerback Michael Adams was injured on the play and had to be carted off. St. Louis tight end Lance Kendricks and wide receiver Greg Salas had been taken off on carts earlier.

The pass interference penalty on Peterson — against Brandon Lloyd, who caught five for 80 yards — moved the ball well within Brown's range. But the 6-foot-8 Campbell knocked it away.

Peterson's game-winning play came a day after his college team, No. 1 LSU, defeated then No. 2 Alabama 9-6 in overtime.

The Rams dominated the first half statistically but led only 9-3.

Bradford was sacked three times in the first half, two of them to stall drives and force St. Louis to settle for field goals. Adrian Wilson stopped Steven Jackson four a four-yard loss to at the 19 to stall the other Rams drive.

St. Louis outgained Arizona 189-58 in the first half and had a 13-4 advantage in first downs. That all turned around in the second half.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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