Cardinals Rally By Chargers, 18-17; Lions Rout Giants, 35-14
The Arizona Cardinals and Detroit Lions each won on the first Monday night of the 2014 NFL season. Here’s a recap of the action:
Arizona 18, San Diego 17
Carson Palmer’s 13-yard touchdown pass to John Brown completed a fourth-quarter rally, and the Cardinals edged the San Diego Chargers, 18-17, in Arizona on Monday night. The Cardinals trailed 17-6 entering the game’s final period, but they crossed the goal line twice in the final 15 minutes to steal the victory.
Palmer keyed the rally with a five-yard scoring strike to Stepfan Taylor with 12:30 left and the game-winner to Brown with 2:25 remaining. The Arizona quarterback completed 24 of 37 passes for 304 yards and two scores. Michael Floyd caught five passes for 119 yards for the Cardinals.
Arizona led 6-3 after a grueling first half, but San Diego surged ahead on two third-quarter touchdowns, the last coming on a 20-yard scamper by Ryan Mathews with 5:26 remaining in the period.
Chargers’ quarterback Philip Rivers threw for 238 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Detroit 35, N.Y. Giants 14
Matthew Stafford threw for 346 yards and two touchdowns — both to Calvin Johnson — and the Lions routed the New York Giants, 35-14, on Monday night in Detroit. Stafford and Johnson combined for touchdowns on each of the Lions’ first two possessions. Their first scoring pass came on a 67-yard play just 2:49 into the game.
After New York cut its deficit to 14-7 before halftime, Detroit pulled away in the second half. The Lions scored 13 points in the third quarter and added eight in the final period on a three-yard run by Joique Bell and a two-point conversion pass from Stafford to Joseph Fauria.
Johnson finished with seven catches for 164 yards and two scores. Receiver Golden Tate caught six passes for 93 yards in his first regular season game for the Lions.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning struggled, completing 18 of 33 passes for 163 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. New York managed just 197 yards of total offense on the game.
(Note: John Brown picture has been updated.)