Final

Cardinals 38

(3-7, 1-4 away)

Rams 28

(4-6, 3-2 home)

1:00 PM ET, November 20, 2005

 

1 2 3 4 T
ARI 3 10 3 2238
STL 3 7 7 1128

Top Performers

Passing: K. Warner (ARI) - 285 YDS, 3 TD

Rushing: J. Arrington (ARI) - 11 CAR, 45 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: T. Holt (STL) - 11 REC, 129 YDS, 1 TD

Warner, Cardinals' defense prove too tough for Rams

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Celebrating victories in St. Louis is nothing new for Kurt Warner. It was running off the field to the visitor's locker room that distinguished his latest triumph.

It was over when ...
Rams quarterback Marc Bulger left the game with a shoulder bruise late in the third quarter. While backup Jamie Martin played well today, the Rams need Bulger if they are going to beat a team that puts up 38 points on their defense.
Game ball goes to ...
Kurt Warner. Playing in St. Louis for the first time since since the Rams released him before the 2004 season, Warner went 27-for-39, throwing for 285 yards, 3 TDs and 0 INTs. His top two receivers -- Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald -- both went over 100 yards and both caught touchdown passes.
ESPN's take ...
Eric Allen I'm wondering -- and I'm sure a lot of other people are wondering -- why the Rams have abandoned the run the past two weeks after playing well with Steven Jackson leading the way. There are a lot of off-the-field issues on this team and I wonder if those issues are clouding the judgment of the coaching staff right now. They have to start paying more attention to detail.
-- Eric Allen

The St. Louis Rams' former hero won his first game in the town where he produced a pair of Super Bowl teams and a pair of MVP awards, throwing three touchdown passes in a 38-28 victory against his old team on Sunday.

"As special as it was, I'm two years removed now and I don't feel like I'm as much a part of this organization as I did when I first left," Warner said. "You still have a lot of friends, I still love those guys over there and still enjoy competing against them."

Warner's first game in St. Louis since the team released him before the 2004 season was not nearly as dramatic as his emergence in 1999 from Arena League success. Still, he doubled his season total for touchdown passes in six starts and threw a pair of fourth-quarter scores that gave the Cardinals (3-7) breathing room at the finish.

This was Warner's first victory in five starts with Arizona.

"It's a continuation of the Kurt Warner story," coach Dennis Green said. "He's got a lot of football left in him."

The Rams (4-6) took another blow to flagging playoff hopes and lost quarterback Marc Bulger, the man who replaced Warner in 2003, for the second time this season with a shoulder injury. Bulger, who missed two games earlier, left with a bruise late in the third quarter.

"We expected to come in and win and get back to 5-5," safety Mike Furrey said. "It's devastating, it's disappointing."

Bulger also sustained a mild concussion on one of three sacks by Adrian Wilson, who also had a fumble recovery and a forced fumble. Wilson piledrived him with a blindside hit.

"I don't know if he was expecting somebody to pick me up or not," Wilson said. "I don't know if they had a protection problem or what, but it obviously hurt their quarterback."

Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald both topped 100 yards receiving for the Cardinals, who split the season series with the Rams. Boldin caught eight passes for 105 yards and a touchdown, and Fitzgerald had nine receptions for 104 yards and a 7-yard score late in the fourth quarter.

Neil Rackers also continued a perfect season with three field goals, including a 51-yarder in the third quarter. He's 31-for-31 on the year, and his field goal total is a franchise season record.

Fitzgerald's touchdown was one of three by the Cardinals in the final 8:11 that blew open the game, one of the scores set up by a 90-yard kickoff return by Reggie Swinton and a second by a lost fumble by Rams backup quarterback Jamie Martin.

The go-ahead score was a 9-yard catch by rookie Adam Bergen, his first career touchdown, that along with a 2-point conversion catch by Boldin put the Cardinals ahead 24-17.

Warner was 27-for-39 for 285 yards to lead the Cardinals to a season-high for points, and only their second 30-point effort of the season. He threw for 327 yards but no scores in a 17-12 loss at home to the Rams in Week 2.

The Cardinals stuffed the Rams' running game, holding Steven Jackson to 6 yards on 12 attempts. Jackson had the team's only two carries for minus-2 yards in the second half.

"They came out stopping the run," Jackson said. "They wanted us to prove we could move the ball down the field and until we do that I'm pretty sure that's what a lot of teams are going to do now."

Warner's return was something shy of an emotional homecoming given the Cardinals passed on a chance to get him a pregame ovation when they elected to introduce their defense instead. Warner got his first -- and only -- big cheer when he led the offense on the field for the first time early in the first quarter.

"You just never know, you're on the other side of the fence and you're wearing a different uniform now," Warner said. "I knew coming in I wasn't going to weigh a lot of what the response was, positive or negative."

He waved twice to the crowd before settling over center, upon which time the fans promptly deserted their former hero and began cheering to drown him out.

Game notes


Isaac Bruce's 46-yard catch in the third quarter put the Rams ahead 17-16 and was the 76th of his career, tied for 20th place with Fred Biletnikoff and Harold Jackson. ... Warner fell 15 yards shy of becoming the Cardinals' first quarterback to throw for 300 yards in three straight games. ... Rams OG Blaine Saipaia, who split time with Adam Timmerman, sustained a concussion.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
ARI
STL
1st Downs2719
Passing 1st downs
1615
Rushing 1st downs
71
1st downs from penalties
43
3rd down efficiency
5-114-12
4th down efficiency
0-01-1
Total Plays6660
Total Yards372357
Yards per play5.66.0
Total Drives1113
Passing278351
Comp-Att
27-3933-43
Yards per pass
7.07.3
Interceptions thrown
00
Sacks-Yards Lost
1-75-34
Rushing946
Rushing Attempts
2612
Yards per rush
3.60.5
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-60-2
Penalties10-1119-54
Turnovers12
Fumbles lost
12
Interceptions thrown
00
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession31:4528:15

Passing Leaders

ARIC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Warner27/392857.3301-7
STLC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Bulger19/242249.3203-21
Martin14/191618.5102-13

Rushing Leaders

ARICARYDSAVGTDLG
Arrington11454.1110
Shipp8303.8019
STLCARYDSAVGTDLG
Jackson1260.506

Receiving Leaders

ARIRECYDSAVGTDLG
Boldin810513.1134
Fitzgerald910411.6131
STLRECYDSAVGTDLG
Holt1112911.7137
Curtis99810.9126

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERARISTL
stlFG7:40Jeff Wilkins 39 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 5 plays, 21 yds, 1:19
03
ariFG1:27Neil Rackers 24 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 12 plays, 61 yds, 5:56
33
SECOND QUARTERARISTL
stlTD14:14Torry Holt, 22 yd pass from Marc Bulger (Jeff Wilkins kick is good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 83 yds, 12:57
310
ariTD9:00Anquan Boldin, 13 yd pass from Kurt Warner (Neil Rackers kick is good)
Drive info: 12 plays, 56 yds, 5:00
1010
ariFG0:30Neil Rackers 25 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 9 plays, 60 yds, 1:20
1310
THIRD QUARTERARISTL
ariFG11:14Neil Rackers 43 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 9 plays, 53 yds, 3:40
1610
stlTD7:47Isaac Bruce, 46 yd pass from Marc Bulger (Jeff Wilkins kick is good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 72 yds, 3:16
1617
FOURTH QUARTERARISTL
ariTD8:17Adam Bergen, 9 yd pass from Kurt Warner( for 2pt conversion)
Drive info: 13 plays, 48 yds, 5:53
2417
stlFG3:39Jeff Wilkins 24 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 10 plays, 55 yds, 4:24
2420
ariTD3:17Larry Fitzgerald, 7 yd pass from Kurt Warner (Neil Rackers kick is good)
Drive info: 2 plays, 5 yds, 0:06
3120
ariTD1:55J.J. Arrington, 7 yd run (Neil Rackers kick is good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 15 yds, 1:03
3820
stlTD0:41Kevin Curtis, 26 yd pass from Jamie Martin( for 2pt conversion)
Drive info: 4 plays, 60 yds, 1:13
3828