Ottis Anderson scored two touchdowns and quarterback Neil Lomax scrambled for an important nine-yard touchdown late in today's game to give the St. Louis Cardinals a 38-21 victory over the Chicago Bears.
Coming into the game, the Bears had the top-ranked defense in the NFL.
The touchdown run by Lomax was set up when rookie linebacker Niko Noga blocked a punt by Chicago's Dave Finzer with 6:10 left in the game, giving the Cardinals the ball on the Chicago 11.
Anderson carried twice to set up third-and-eight at the nine. Lomax dropped back to pass, rolled to his right and scrambled for the score, making it 31-21 with 4:38 left to play.
"They had some good coverage on us," Lomax said. "I saw open field and ran like a little rabbit."
St. Louis then stopped Chicago on downs and took over at the Bears' 32. Five plays later, Earl Ferrell went over the right side from one yard for the final score with 38 seconds left. Each team is 4-3.
Chicago had taken a 21-17 lead on the first possession of the second half, moving 79 yards in 14 plays with Matt Suhey scoring from a yard.
St. Louis took over on its 29, and Lomax (271 passing yards) threw to Roy Green (six catches, 166 yards) for gains of 22 and 29 yards to put the ball on the one. Lomax then threw to Anderson for the touchdown and a 24-21 lead with 2:10 left in the third quarter.
The lead changed hands five times in the first half with St. Louis ahead, 17-14, at intermission.
The Cardinals took the opening drive and marched 53 yards in eight plays, with Neil O'Donoghue kicking a 44-yard field goal. The Bears came back on their initial drive of the game, Jim McMahon throwing a 28-yard touchdown pass to Willie Gault.
St. Louis went up, 10-7, with 3:56 left in the first quarter. Randy Love capped a 68-yard, eight-play drive with a five-yard run up the middle.
Chicago twice drove deep into Cardinal territory in the second quarter but fumbled each time; the first by Suhey recovered at the 18 and the second when safety Benny Perrin jarred the ball loose from Jay Saldi as the Bears' tight end was crossing the one-yard line.
On their next possession, however, the Bears needed just four plays to score. McMahon's 36-yard pass to Gault and a 26-yard pass to Suhey set up a one-yard touchdown run by Walter Payton (100 rushing yards) for a 14-10 lead.
Lomax, who was sacked five times in the first half, hit Pat Tilley for a 42-yard gain and scrambled for 20 yards in a 75-yard march completed by Anderson's nine-yard touchdown run with 5:23 left in the half.
"(Bears' blitzes) bothered me a lot in that first half, there's no question about it," Lomax said. "In the second half, it was a little different. I didn't have a great game, I made mistakes, but Roy Green pulled me through."
"I think Roy can do that to a lot of people. He's been doing that now for two years," said Cardinals Coach Jim Hanifan. "I still think Chicago is boot tough. By the end of the year, I still think they'll rank as the best defensive team in the NFL."