Final

Cardinals 34

(5-3, 2-3 away)

Rams 13

(2-6, 1-3 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, November 2, 2008

Edward Jones Dome, Saint Louis, MO 

1 2 3 4 T
ARI 0 24 7 334
STL 7 0 0 613

Top Performers

Passing: K. Warner (ARI) - 343 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: T. Hightower (ARI) - 22 CAR, 109 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: A. Boldin (ARI) - 6 REC, 85 YDS, 1 TD

Cardinals take control of NFC West with win in St. Louis

Associated Press

ST. LOUIS -- Kurt Warner and the Cardinals used a 24-point second quarter to win another one in their former home city.

Arizona was in total command after scoring 10 points on turnovers and adding a pair of long scoring plays on touchdowns by Tim Hightower and Jerheme Urban in a 34-13 victory on Sunday. Warner held it all together with his 45th 300-yard passing game, throwing for two touchdowns to beat the team he led to two Super Bowls from 1999-2001.

Fast Facts

• The Cards have won four straight in St. Louis, where their franchise was based from 1960-87.

• At 5-3, the Cardinals are off to their best start through eight games since 1984 (also 5-3, finished 9-7).

• Kurt Warner threw for 342 yards and two touchdowns, moving into second place on a pair of Cardinals franchise lists. It was Warner's 15th 300-yard passing game with the Cardinals, second in team history and 16th straight game with a TD pass, tied for second in team history.

• In two starts at St. Louis since leaving the Rams after the 2003 season, Warner is 2-0 and has thrown for 627 yards, five TDs and zero interceptions.

-- ESPN research

• Rapid Reaction

"A great day," Warner said. "I always love coming back to this place. Really a good day all the way around for me."

Arizona (5-3) ran off 31 straight points to win for only the second time in five road games and solidify its NFC West lead against a team that had been hoping to climb back into the race. The Rams (2-6) have lost two straight after winning their first two games under new coach Jim Haslett, and were booed off the field at halftime and at every opportunity thereafter before the Edward Jones Dome emptied out in the fourth quarter.

"They kicked our butts," Rams quarterback Marc Bulger said. "In the second quarter it kind of fell apart."

Warner, who won a pair of NFL MVP awards with the Rams, ran off the field to cheers after the game.

"We'd like them to love us, too, we've just got to win a couple more ballgames," Rams rookie defensive end Chris Long said. "We just have to execute better and then hopefully we can keep them in the seats the next time."

St. Louis had the upper hand early, making a goal-line stand to thwart the Cardinals' first drive and taking the lead on Derek Stanley's first career catch, an 80-yard touchdown reception. Eric Moore hauled down Warner on a quarterback sneak on 4th-and-goal from the 1, and Stanley made a one-armed grab after coming back for an underthrown ball to put St. Louis ahead.

"Not bad at all," Stanley said. "I'm glad the coaches trusted in me to make a big play."

After that, it was all Arizona, especially in the second quarter when the Rams were outgained 229-18. The Cardinals have won four in a row in St. Louis, their home from 1960-87, and four straight over the Rams overall.

Arizona St. Louis

NFL.com Video

Watch highlights from the Arizona vs. St. Louis game.

Warner is 35-10 as a starter indoors and was 26-4 at home with the Rams, including playoff games. It felt like home again on Sunday, playing before a crowd dotted with No. 13 Warner Rams jerseys.

"I feel more comfortable here because there's been so much history here," Warner said. "It's always fun to come back, and fortunately we've had success here."

Hightower, a fifth-round pick who got the start ahead of ineffective Edgerrin James, had 109 yards on 22 carries -- by far his best effort. He was untouched on a 30-yard touchdown run after Fakhir Brown missed a tackle at the line.

Hightower said he didn't know he'd be starting until just before game time.

"I expect to do whatever they tell me to do," Hightower said. "That's one thing I try not to focus on, how many carries I'm going to get or what I'm going to do."

Warner was 22-for-33 for 343 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions in only his second start in St. Louis since the Rams released him in 2004.

Steven Jackson was ineffective after missing last week's loss at New England with a thigh injury, gaining 17 yards on seven carries and dropping a sure touchdown pass in the third quarter that prompted vociferous booing. Jackson sat out most of the second half.

"Of course, I heard the boos," Jackson said. "I'm hugely disappointed in myself. I didn't play like myself."

Bulger led the Rams with 32 yards on three scrambles, while going 16-for-33 for 186 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Torry Holt caught a 3-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter for St. Louis and had four catches for 41 yards, all in the second half.

Antrel Rolle jumped on an underthrown pass for an 40-yard interception return for a TD, the fourth of his career and second in two seasons, to get the Cardinals rolling in the second quarter. Bulger's lost fumble on a sack by Adrian Wilson set up a field goal by Neil Rackers that put the Cardinals ahead at 10-7.

Cornerback Jonathan Wade bobbled a sure interception into the arms of Urban, who had clear sailing the last 30 yards or so of a 56-yard touchdown play that gave the Cardinals a 24-7 halftime lead. The 24-point quarter was Arizona's first since Nov. 18, 2001 against the Lions, and their first in the second quarter since Nov. 22, 1987 at Philadelphia.

The Rams added Dick Vermeil, who coached them to their only Super Bowl title after the 1999 season, to their Ring of Honor in a halftime ceremony. Vermeil's name was etched into an upper deck facade in the north end zone, directly opposite Georgia Frontiere, the late Rams owner.

Game notes


The Rams were successful on two first-half challenges, negating what had been ruled a 1-yard touchdown run by Hightower and a first-down catch by Larry Fitzgerald inside the St. Louis 10 to force a field goal. ... Stanley, who has two career receptions, sustained a concussion on special teams in the Rams' last home game against the Cowboys. ... Hightower was the Cardinals' first 100-yard rusher since James on Dec. 30, 2007 against the Rams.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
ARI
STL
1st Downs2413
Passing 1st downs
127
Rushing 1st downs
115
1st downs from penalties
11
3rd down efficiency
4-135-13
4th down efficiency
0-10-1
Total Plays6855
Total Yards510231
Yards per play7.54.2
Total Drives1313
Passing334170
Comp-Att
22-3316-33
Yards per pass
9.84.9
Interceptions thrown
02
Sacks-Yards Lost
1-92-16
Rushing17661
Rushing Attempts
3420
Yards per rush
5.23.0
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-41-1
Penalties10-694-41
Turnovers03
Fumbles lost
01
Interceptions thrown
02
Defensive / Special Teams TDs10
Possession38:3821:22

Passing Leaders

ARIC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Warner22/3334310.4201-9
STLC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Bulger16/331865.6222-16

Rushing Leaders

ARICARYDSAVGTDLG
Hightower221095.0130
Arrington7618.7030
STLCARYDSAVGTDLG
Bulger33210.7016
Jackson7172.4010

Receiving Leaders

ARIRECYDSAVGTDLG
Boldin68514.2119
Fitzgerald68113.5033
STLRECYDSAVGTDLG
Stanley18080.0180
Holt6589.7115

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERARISTL
stlTD4:34Derek Stanley 80 Yard Pass From Marc Bulger (Josh Brown Kick is Good)
Drive info: 1 plays, 80 yds, 0:00
07
SECOND QUARTERARISTL
ariTD12:21Antrel Rolle 40 Yard Interception Return (Neil Rackers Kick is Good)
Drive info: 1 plays, 40 yds, 0:00
77
ariFG8:13Neil Rackers 36 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 4 plays, 5 yds, 1:06
107
ariTD2:00Tim Hightower 30 Yard Run (Neil Rackers Kick is Good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 92 yds, 2:50
177
ariTD0:55Jerheme Urban 56 Yard Pass From Kurt Warner (Neil Rackers Kick is Good)
Drive info: 2 plays, 56 yds, 0:36
247
THIRD QUARTERARISTL
ariTD3:20Anquan Boldin 7 Yard Pass From Kurt Warner (Neil Rackers Kick is Good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 82 yds, 5:01
317
FOURTH QUARTERARISTL
stlTD12:20Torry Holt 3 Yard Pass From Marc Bulger (Marc Bulger Pass to Derek Stanley For Two-Point Conversion is No Good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 31 yds, 1:48
3113
ariFG3:34Neil Rackers 30 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 12 plays, 70 yds, 8:50
3413