WASHINGTON — Jay Schroeder and Neil Lomax pretty much played to a draw, but both were watching from the sidelines during the final play.
Schroeder threw three touchdown passes as the Washington Redskins built a 21-point lead Sunday and held off Lomax, who also passed for three scores, and the St. Louis Cardinals for a 28-21 victory.
Lomax drove the Cardinals (1-6) to the Washington 11 in the closing seconds before being forced out of the game with a twisted ankle. Backup quarterback Cliff Stoudt couldn't get the tying touchdown.
"I'm just sick and tired of coming in here and losing," Lomax said. "I really thought we were going to score."
The Cardinals threatened to send the game to overtime by driving 58 yards in the final 7:19. Lomax, who completed 16 of 29 passes for 155 yards, passed to Troy Johnson at the 11, but was injured on the play. An illegal procedure penalty moved the ball back to the 16 and Stoudt's pass was caught by Chas Fox, who was tackled at the 11 as time ran out.
"We wound up making some mistakes and, coupled with their good play, I'm just happy to come away with a win," Washington Coach Joe Gibbs said.
The Redskins (6-1) scored three touchdowns in their initial four possessions for a 21-0 lead midway through the second quarter.
Schroeder completed 13 of 23 passes for 232 yards and improved his record as a starter to 10-2.
"I thought I was throwing real well, especially in the first half," said Schroeder, who was passing against a Cardinal defense that entered the game surrendering an average of only 137 yards passing per game, best in the NFL.
Washington's opening drive stalled on the Cardinal 38, but Steve Cox' punt deflected off St. Louis' Carl Carter, and the Redskins' Anthony Jones recovered at the Cardinal two.
George Rogers, who rushed for 118 yards in 30 carries, scored on the next play. Rogers has scored a rushing touchdown in 10 straight games, the third longest streak in league history, behind John Riggins (13) and Lenny Moore (11).
Schroeder had drives of 91 and 47 yards in the second quarter with scoring passes to Art Monk and Clint Didier.
Schroeder's 16-yard scoring pass to Gary Clark made it 28-7 in the third quarter. But two fumbles, an interception, and 50 yards in penalties on a St. Louis drive enabled the Cardinals to get back in the game.
"That's the thing we can't do," Schroeder said. "Anytime you turn the ball over and you give them field position, the way we did in the second half, a good team is going to take advantage of it."
Lomax hit J.T. Smith with a seven-yard scoring pass to make it 28-14, and the Cardinals pulled to within a touchdown on a 16-yard pass from Lomax to Earl Ferrell with 8:28 left in the game. Lomax also hit Ferrell with an eight-yard scoring pass with two seconds left in the first half.