First career touchdowns from Stepfan Taylor and John Brown fuel Arizona Cardinals’ victory
Sep 9, 2014, 4:17 PM | Updated: 4:17 pm
If you had envisioned how the Arizona Cardinals’ 2014 season would unfold, I bet you wouldn’t have guessed third-string running back Stepfan Taylor would score the first touchdown of the year.
And on a passing play?
That’s exactly what happened, however, as quarterback Carson Palmer escaped pressure from San Diego’s Dwight Freeney, rolled right and found Taylor in the front corner of the end zone for a 5-yard score that cut into the Chargers’ lead.
It was Taylor’s first NFL touchdown.
“I just ran my route. I saw Carson break out of the backfield,” he said. “It was backyard football right there. I tried to find an open spot and sit there, hoped that he found me, and he did. I just had to catch the ball.”
About ten minutes later, it was another youngster’s chance to hit pay dirt for the first time.
Trailing 17-12 with about two and a half minutes left in regulation, the Cardinals faced a first and ten from the San Diego 13-yard line. Palmer took a snap, faked a handoff to Jonathan Dwyer and then threw a quick pass to the left to rookie John Brown. The third-round pick made the catch, got a nice kick-out block from tackle Jared Veldheer, and weaved through defenders into the end zone for an 18-17 lead that proved to be the Cardinals’ winning margin.
“It was just a great feeling,” Brown said about scoring a touchdown in his NFL debut. “Just something we’ve been going through the whole time. We’ve been going over and over and over. It came in perfect like we practiced.”
Palmer, who improved to 11-6 as Arizona’s starting quarterback, was happy to see Brown’s hard work pay off.
“It was a sweet little touchdown, that’s what he does,” Palmer said. “He’s so shifty. It’s like somebody was controlling him with a joystick. He’s so quick and so hard to find on those little quick screens.
“It was good to see him get his first touchdown, especially on Monday Night Football in front of our fans, and hopefully that just gives him confidence and he’ll continue to build on that.”