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Shipp has 141 yards rushing

11/3/2003

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Marcel Shipp is not running like a backup,
behind Emmitt Smith or anyone else.

The bruising Arizona running back, the starter since Smith broke
his left shoulder blade a month ago, rushed for 141 yards in 29
carries Sunday in the Cardinals' 17-14 victory over the Cincinnati
Bengals.

Question on the Bengals: So maybe the Bengals need Corey Dillon after all?
There's no doubt the Bengals need Dillon; he's one of the best backs in the NFL and he gives the offense an added dimension. But his comments this past week made him seem very selfish and may get him the trade he wants in the offseason.

Question on the Cardinals: Are you surprised with how competitive the Cards have been at home?
I'm very surprised. At certain points in my career, I've had the misfortune of playing in half-empty stadiums at home and it's almost depressing for a player. There's no feeling to truly express how a player feels when there's no noise to pump his team up and no hometown pressure on the opposition. For the Cardinals to continue to play as well as they have in that situation is a testament to their concentration.

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.

Shipp became the first Cardinal in 11 years to have consecutive
100-yard rushing games. The fourth-year pro from Massachusetts, who
was not drafted, gained 165 yards last week in Arizona's 16-13
overtime victory over San Francisco.

That's 306 yards in two games.

"I belong in this league, and I can play with anybody that
lines up against us," the soft-spoken running back said.

Smith, the NFL's career rushing leader who was assured the
starter's job when he signed with Arizona, should be back in a
couple of weeks, and it will present coach Dave McGinnis with a
tough decision.

"Marcel right now is the starting running back. That's where we
are," McGinnis said. "I'd say he's played pretty well the last
two weeks."

Shipp has said the right things since Smith arrived, but by his
performances will make it hard for the coaching staff to sit him
down.

"It would be disappointing because I want to be out there at
all times," Smith said. "Like I said, it's the coaches' decision,
and I have to live with whatever they decide."

Jeff Blake completed 18 of 28 passes for 166 yards and two
touchdowns. For the second week in a row, he threw no
interceptions.

Jon Kitna was 21-for-38 for 218 yards and one touchdown for
Cincinnati. He was intercepted twice. Cincinnati managed just 47
yards rushing, compared with Arizona's 161.

"We didn't stop the run, we didn't run the football offensively
and we didn't play very good in the special teams area," coach
Marvin Lewis said. "We missed a big opportunity, no question."

Corey Dillon, still bothered by a groin pull, carried seven
times for 5 yards and didn't play in the second half.

"Corey tightened up a little bit at the half, which is kind of
understandable," Lewis said.

The Bengals (3-5) led 14-10 at the half, but Arizona dominated
with its ball-control style in the second half.

The Cardinals (3-5) took the second-half kickoff and went 80
yards in 13 plays, using 6:48. Arizona converted three third downs
on the drive, including Blake's 7-yard touchdown pass to Anquan
Boldin.

It was a matchup of two of the NFL's biggest losers in recent
history. The Bengals had shed that image, to some extent, by
winning two in a row and three of four.

But in nearly empty Sun Devil Stadium -- paid attendance was
23,531 -- Cincinnati couldn't slow Shipp and wasn't able to move the
ball consistently.

"This was a big opportunity for us to be on a legitimate roll
in this league," Kitna said, "with three in a row and coming back
home and playing two home games. We kind of let them take it to us
today."

After Tim Duncan's 34-yard field goal bounced off the right
upright with 12:31 to play, the Bengals had three possessions to
try to regain the lead.

But the last two began at their 7-yard line, and they never made
it into Arizona territory. Dexter Jackson's interception stopped
the next-to-last possession. On their final try, Kitna's
fourth-down pass to Peter Warrick was short of a first down.

The first time the Cardinals had the ball, a defensive holding
call kept a drive alive. Blake threw 1 yard to Freddie Jones for
the score.

Shipp's fumble, the Cardinals' 20th turnover of the season, but
their only one of the game, was recovered by Cincinnati's Tony
Williams at the Arizona 40 moments later. The Bengals drove to the
Arizona 4, where Renaldo Hill intercepted Kitna's pass in the end
zone and returned it to midfield.

However, the play was nullified by a roughing-the-passer call
against Ray Thompson, and Rudi Johnson scored on a 2-yard run to
tie it.

Kitna threw 15 yards to Warrick to put Cincinnati up 14-7.
Duncan's 41-yard field goal cut the lead to 14-10 at the half.

^Notes: The last Arizona player to have consecutive 100-yard
rushing games was Johnny Johnson in 1992. ... Counting the
transplanted Monday night game, it was the fourth contest in eight
days at Sun Devil Stadium. ... Arizona fullback James Hodgins left
the game with a bruised thigh, but returned after X-rays were
negative.