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Arians praises team's 'belief' in come-from-behind win over Chargers

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TEMPE, Arizona — Arizona coach Bruce Arians says he likes the way his team weathered the ups and downs of Monday night's come-from-behind victory over San Diego.

He also "really liked" the way the team came together in the fourth quarter, when the Cardinals rallied from an 11-point deficit to win 18-17.

"The one thing I was looking for on the sideline was somebody that was in disbelief, and I couldn't find one," Arians said at his Tuesday news conference. "I couldn't look in anybody's eyes that didn't think we were going to win that game in the fourth quarter. That's a really good feeling for a coach."

He thinks that attitude is a carry-over from last season, when Arizona won seven of its last nine, including a victory in Seattle, the lone home loss for the Seahawks in two seasons.

"What carries over from one year to the next, because we have a lot of new faces?" Arians said. "Well, the belief that we are good enough to get it done carried over, because it was there from the Seattle game and other games last year."

Carson Palmer was 8 for 12 for 85 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. He also lumbered for a first down on third-and-10 from his own 9-yard line on the game-winning drive. The run was part of a 10-play, 91-yard drive, capped by a 13-yard TD pass to rookie John Brown to put Arizona up by a point with 2:25 to go.

The drive also featured the lone reception of the night for Larry Fitzgerald. The 22-yard play kept alive Fitzgerald's string of a reception in 150 consecutive games. Fitzgerald was targeted only four times, but Arians made no apologies.

"We don't design plays for guys to get the ball," Arians said. "That's interceptions waiting to happen. You have guys go out and then whatever the coverage dictates, you get it. The coverage dictated he wasn't getting many. He was open a couple other times where we threw it somewhere else, but I'm not interested in anybody's numbers other than the W's. Those days are long gone."

Running back Andre Ellington played despite a painful injury to his left foot.

Arians said "it was a big step" for Ellington to play through pain and said it no doubt earned the respect of his teammates.

"Guys were patting him on the back left and right," the coach said. "He cramped up in the fourth quarter and was right back in it."

PHOTO: Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians, right, embraces San Diego Chargers head coach Mike McCoy after an NFL football game Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals won 18-17. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians, right, embraces San Diego Chargers head coach Mike McCoy after an NFL football game Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals won 18-17. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Ellington's longest run of the night — 18 yards — came in the winning drive.

"He'll be in a boot today," Arians said. "That will be his protocol. ... He'll be in a boot to calm it (the injury) back down and then see how it goes."

Ellington probably will miss Wednesday's practice, the coach said.

Now the Cardinals have a short week of practice before heading east for a game Sunday against the New York Giants. He said coaches would complete the game plan for the Giants on Tuesday night. The Giants lost their opener Monday night at Detroit 35-14.

"The one thing you hate is to go into a team that is wounded," Arians said. "They got beat. They are embarrassed a little bit. I'm sure we are going to get more than their best."

The deafening noise at University of Phoenix Stadium obviously bothered the Chargers offense. But Arians said it was too noisy when the Cardinals had the ball.

Asked if that meant fans need to be taught to quiet down when Arizona is on offense, Arians said, "Yes, and keep their tickets."

There were two Arizona injuries in the game. Nose tackle Frostee Rucker aggravated a calf injury. Rucker will not practice Wednesday, Arians said, and is doubtful for the Giants game.

In his absence, recent signee Tommy Kelly played well, the coach said.

"A lot of pressure in the middle of the pocket, got real close a couple times," Arians said.

Outside linebacker John Abraham sustained a concussion and is going through the protocol for that injury established by the NFL.


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Photo Gallery:
PHOTO: Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) is hurried by San Diego Chargers outside linebacker Dwight Freeney, left, during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals won 18-17. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
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