Ron Jaworski, making his first start in five weeks, threw three touchdown passes today to lead the Philadelphia Eagles to a 30-7 NFL victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.
Jaworski, who completed 18 of 28 passes for 243 yards with no interceptions, had lost his starting job to rookie Randall Cunningham after the Eagles lost to the New York Giants, 21-0, in the first week of the season. But Cunningham faltered, and Jaworski came off the bench last week to throw for three touchdowns in Philadelphia's 23-21 loss to New Orleans.
"All in all, it's the best game we played in a long time," Jaworski said.
"It's been tough the last four weeks," added Jaworski, who had said he did not think Cunningham was ready to play in the NFL. "I've had some tough, tough things to handle. It's great to be back in there."
Jaworski said he would have to treat the members of his offensive line to a case of steaks since they did not allow him to be sacked.
The Eagles (2-4) also had field goals of 39, 21 and 52 yards from Paul McFadden. Earnest Jackson ran for 103 yards in his first 100-yard game since he was obtained from the San Diego Chargers before the start of the season.
The Cardinals (3-3), coming off Monday night's 27-10 loss to the Washington Redskins, were held to 81 yards on the ground.
Starting quarterback Neil Lomax, who completed only six of 15 passes for 65 yards, was removed from the game after three of the Eagles' four sacks. He was replaced for the second straight game by backup Scott Brunner early in the third quarter. Brunner hit Pat Tilley with a 40-yard scoring pass with 4:57 left in the game.
Cardinals Coach Jim Hanifan said Lomax hurt his back when he was sacked late in the first half.
"We tried him in the second half, but he said he felt his back and shoulder stiffen up," he said. "He felt he should get out because he had no oomph on the ball."
Hanifan said he had expected the game to be a battle and was surprised that it wasn't.
"They took away anything we tried to do," he said. "They did a bang-up job defensively and offensively. Ron Jaworski did a heck of a job mixing up the game."
The Eagles took a 13-0 halftime lead on two field goals by McFadden and Jaworski's 10-yard scoring pass to John Spagnola, capping an eight-play, 80-yard drive.
McFadden put the Eagles ahead, 3-0, with 4:56 left in the first quarter with his 39-yarder. The score was set up when Philadelphia's Herman Edwards intercepted a Lomax pass and returned it three yards to the Cardinals' 43. Lomax overthrew wide receiver J.T. Smith on the play.
The Eagles moved 65 yards on their next possession, ending in McFadden's 21-yard field goal, and went ahead 6-0. Jaworski completed two passes to Spagnola in the drive, including one of 29 yards that moved the Eagles to the St. Louis five.
Later, Jaworski took Philadelphia 80 yards in 11 plays, capped by his 10-yard pass to Spagnola. The pass was perfectly thrown between two Cardinals defenders and into Spagnola's hands in the end zone.
Philadelphia boosted its advantage to 23-0 after three quarters on Jaworski's 17-yard touchdown pass to Mike Quick and McFadden's 52-yarder, equaling the longest of his two-year NFL career.
Philadelphia, which had no turnovers, completed its scoring in the fourth quarter on Jaworski's 32-yard scoring pass to Herman Hunter.