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Cardinals Finally Win One : NFC: Schroeder and a tough defense lead a 17-7 victory that ends Minnesota's three-game winning streak.

October 03, 1994|From Associated Press

TEMPE, Ariz. — The Arizona Cardinals finally figured out what BuddyBall is all about.

After an 0-3 start and facing a road trip to Dallas next week, the Cardinals--picked by Coach Buddy Ryan and many observers as a playoff team--couldn't afford another loss Sunday.

They didn't get one.

"I knew it was going to be there," Ryan said of his first victory with Arizona. "I just didn't know when. But we beat the best team we've played. There's no doubt about that."

Jay Schroeder threw a four-yard touchdown pass to Derek Ware and set up Larry Centers' six-yard scoring run with a bomb to Randal Hill, and the defense made a few key plays as the Cardinals ended Minnesota's three-game winning streak with a 17-7 victory over the Vikings.

Ware, a third-year player who had caught just four non-scoring passes in his career until Ryan made him the starting tight end, said the elements of a strong team were coming together.

"You have to get everybody involved," Ware said. "On my touchdown, there wasn't anyone near me. They didn't show me any respect, and they paid for that. I don't think they'll make that mistake again.

Going long to Hill was another part of Ryan's master plan, but there was little sign of it until Schroeder, who didn't sign with Arizona until Sept. 5, began working with the first unit last week during a team bye. Early in the fourth quarter, Schroeder lofted a 45-yard pass that Hill caught on the sideline.

Centers circled left end on the next play, and the Cardinals had their 10-point lead.

Greg Davis broke a 7-7 halftime tie with a 46-yard field goal earlier in the fourth quarter. His kick ended a short march set up when Minnesota's Mike Saxon, holding for a 40-yard field goal try by Fuad Reveiz, lost control of the snap. James Williams of the Cardinals pounced on it at the Arizona 45-yard line.

The attempt completed a nightmare for Reveiz, who had made five of seven attempts in four previous games, but missed from 30 and 47 yards earlier Sunday.

Warren Moon's 13-yard pass to Jake Reed in the second quarter stood as the only Minnesota score.

Moon was effective through most of the game, throwing for 355 yards against what had been the NFL's top pass defense. Cris Carter had 14 receptions for 167 yards, but the Vikings were unable to make a first down on their first three possessions of the fourth period.

"That's not a big deal. We're just trying to win, trying to score points. Unfortunately, the passes weren't there for us when we needed them," Carter said.

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