PRO FOOTBALL ’95 : Peete Plays Like Starter in Eagles’ Victory Over Cardinals

From Associated Press

Rodney Peete took over for a benched Randall Cunningham, directing Philadelphia’s West Coast offense with precision as the Eagles defeated the Arizona Cardinals, 31-19, Sunday night.

Peete, who replaced Cunningham in the second quarter, threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Fred Barnett early in the fourth quarter, putting the Eagles ahead, 24-6.

“Coach [Ray Rhodes] made the change to get things right for Philadelphia, and I’m comfortable with that,” Peete said. “I was surprised when I went in that early, but when you’re a backup you have to be ready at all times. I had a good game tonight, but next week will be back to business.”


Peete completed eight of 13 passes for 145 yards and no interceptions--not a spectacular performance, but the kind of disciplined work suited to the Eagles’ new offense.

“Randall was ineffective in the first quarter, so I made a move to see if I could get something going in the second quarter,” Rhodes said. “Randall is still the starting quarterback; this is not a permanent move.”

Ricky Watters, who fumbled twice and rushed for 37 yards in 17 carries in Philadelphia’s opener, ran for 94 yards in 22 attempts.

But he didn’t put much distance between himself and backup Charlie Garner, who gained 71 yards on 10 tries, scored on a one-yard run and set up Peete’s scoring toss with a 19-yard burst up the middle.

“I heard everything everyone was writing about me,” Watters said. “My teammates were there for me, and I’ll go to the death for them.”

The Cardinals, demoralized by first-quarter injuries to linebacker Eric Hill and defensive tackle Eric Swann and using their own backup quarterback in Mike Buck, scored twice in the fourth quarter--on a one-yard run by Garrison Hearst and Buck’s five-yard pass to Rob Moore.


But they couldn’t avert their second consecutive 0-2 start under Buddy Ryan, who coached the Eagles for five years.

Philadelphia (1-1) answered Hearst’s touchdown with a one-yard carry by Fred McCrary, who made the score, 31-13.

Greg Davis of the Cardinals kicked field goals of 21 and 29 yards. Philadelphia’s Gary Anderson had a 43-yarder.