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Flipper Saves Rams From a Flop : Pro Football: Anderson catches 15 passes for an NFL-record 336 yards. L.A. still almost self-destructs, but Lansford's kick beats Saints in overtime, 20-17.

November 27, 1989|CHRIS DUFRESNE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Greg Bell ran four yards, Everett threw 14 yards to Anderson to the Saints' 39 and Lansford wiggled his toes. A holding penalty knocked the Rams back, but Everett attacked again, hitting tight end Pete Holohan for eight yards and then, finally, Anderson for 26.

Anderson, his extraordinary night not yet justified completely by victory, latched on to teammate Aaron Cox as Lansford took the field.

Anderson has been through this before. He caught a 78-yard touchdown pass against Buffalo in the closing minutes and whooped it up on the sidelines. That seemed kind of silly when the Bills rallied to win.

"Me and Aaron celebrated early in Buffalo," Anderson said. "We celebrated in Minnesota. This time, we have a big high-five \o7 after \f7 the game."

Lost in the Anderson moment was Everett, who refused to surrender after all hope seemed lost. How many chances should a team get?

On the first play of the third quarter, Greene knocked quarterback Bobby Hebert's arm in mid-throw, the ball landing in Shawn Miller's hands at the 16. The Rams closed within an inch of the goal line and didn't score after an ill-advised third-down pass attempt failed and Lanford's chip-shot field goal was blocked by Jim Wilks.

In the third, Buford McGee dropped a possible 30-yard touchdown pass.

In the fourth quarter, Saints' punt returner Rod Harris fumbled at his own eight-yard line, but Rams didn't score. Later in the quarter, Bell fumbled at the Saints 26.

"It had been tough for us," Everett said. "But this team has guts."

He figured there was always time for miracles.

"I've seen it happen against us," he said. "We know it can happen. We'd been kicked in the face, had been beaten up."

Not this time. This time the Rams pulled it out, although every game has it's price.

"I've got 10 more gray hairs," cornerback LeRoy Irvin said. "Ten. I counted them."

The head coach was counting hairs, too.

Said Robinson: "It was the most exciting, happiest and most frustrating game I've ever been in. It was a hell of a game."

Ram Notes

Receiver Henry Ellard was listed as probable going in, but said afterward there was no way he could have played. "It wasn't that close," Ellard said. . . . Until the Rams' comeback, Saints back Dalton Hilliard was the star, rushing for more than 100 yards (112) for the third consecutive week and throwing a 35-yard scoring pass to Eric Martin in the third quarter. In two games against the Rams this year, Hilliard has rushed for a touchdown, caught another and thrown for a score. . . . Right cornerback Cliff Hicks was knocked from the game with a strained right knee. The Rams played the overtime without right tackle Jackie Slater, who suffered a chest bruise. . . . Bill Hawkins strained his right ankle.

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