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(Sunday, November 6th)
Final Score: Arizona 19, St. Louis 13 (OT)
Glendale, AZ (Sports Network) - Patrick Peterson returned a punt 99 yards for a touchdown in overtime, sending the Arizona Cardinals to a dramatic 19-13 win over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.
After the Cardinals defense held strong on the first possession of overtime, Peterson fielded Donnie Jones' 54-yard punt all the way back at the one-yard line.
He went straight up the middle, breaking a number of tackles before bouncing to the right sideline and racing to the end zone for the winning score.
It was the second-longest punt return for a touchdown in NFL history and the longest in an overtime game.
"I decided to catch the ball and just run for my life," recalled Peterson. "Once I get the ball in my hands, I'm just trying to make a play."
John Skelton threw for 222 yards and one touchdown in place of Kevin Kolb, who missed the game because of turf toe, while Larry Fitzgerald caught a touchdown pass for the Cardinals (2-6).
Sam Bradford returned after missing the last two games and threw for 255 yards and an interception for the Rams (1-7). Bradford had been out since suffering high left ankle sprain October 16.
Steven Jackson had a big game on the ground, rushing for 130 yards on 29 carries, while Brandon Lloyd had five catches for 80 yards and Josh Brown kicked three field goals.
"It's a tough way to lose," Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "We have to credit [Cardinals head coach] Ken [Whisenhunt] and his crew for coming up with the plays at the end to win the game. That's the NFC West, knock down drag-em-out."
With the game tied at 13-13, the Rams had a shot to win the game late in regulation, but Brown's 42-yard field goal attempt with four seconds left was blocked by Calais Campbell, sending the game into OT.
Arizona struck on its first possession of the day as Skelton led a seven-play, 28-yard drive down to the St. Louis nine and Jay Feely was true from 27 yards out to give his team a 3-0 lead.
The Rams came right back with a field goal of their own on the ensuing possession. Bradford moved the offense 55 yards in 10 plays before Brown knocked a 48-yard field goal attempt through the uprights.
St. Louis took a 6-3 lead midway through the second quarter when Brown was good on a 37-yard field goal attempt to cap an 11-play, 50 yard drive.
The Rams extended their lead to 9-3 with another Brown field goal, this one from 41 yards out, as time expired in the first half.
After the break, the kicking battle continued, as Skelton led a nine-play, 58- yard drive down to the Rams' 20 on the first possession of the second half and Feely made a 38-yard field goal to pull his team within 9-6.
Midway through the quarter, the Rams defense came up with a big play. With Arizona pinned deep in its own end, Skelton was sacked by James Hall for a safety, making it 11-6.
With 3 1/2 minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Rams came up with another safety on the next Cardinals possession. This time, C.J. Ah You caught Skelton in the end zone, forcing him to throw the ball out of bounds for an intentional-grounding call.
The Cardinals fought back to tie the game with just under five minutes to go in regulation. Skelton led a nine-play, 84 yard drive and found Fitzgerald for a 13-yard touchdown strike.
Peterson became the first player in NFL history to record three punt return touchdowns through eight games...He is now one shy of the NFL record for most punt return touchdowns in a season, currently held by Bears returner Devin Hester...Bradford had won two of his last three starts against division opponents...It was the third touchdown of the season for Fitzgerald...Campbell finished with 1 1/2 sacks...The Cardinals improved to 8-1 against the Rams under Whisenhunt.
11/06 22:17:03 ET