Warner rebounds from bad game with two great ones - KMOV.com

Warner rebounds from bad game with two great ones

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Kurt Warner knows how to come back from adversity. That's the recurring theme in his remarkable career.

This time the 38-year-old quarterback has followed an awful game with two magnificent ones.

As Warner put it, "Sometimes you have to have a short memory in this business."

In the last two games -- victories over Chicago and Seattle -- Warner has completed 51 of 70 passes (73 percent) for 601 yards and seven touchdowns with no interceptions.

"It's kind of a little bit like his career," Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "Just when everybody wants to count him out, he shows you what a competitor he is and what he can do."

Warner smiled when he was asked about bouncing back so well from the five interceptions he threw in Arizona's 34-21 home loss to Carolina three games ago.

"Unfortunately, I have had five interceptions before in my career," he said. "When you play the way I play, in the situations where I have played in my career where you throw the ball first and you are counted on to make plays every week to help your team win, you have those games."

He said he has learned not to get overly concerned about his performance in any one game.

"Sometimes the ball doesn't bounce in your direction," Warner said. "It's just like one win doesn't define you. One great game doesn't define you. It's the same with one bad game or one loss."

Warner's career is being defined by numbers that are climbing some impressive NFL career lists as he prepares to make his 41st consecutive start for the NFC West-leading Cardinals Sunday in St. Louis, where a decade ago he burst from obscurity to lead the Rams to a Super Bowl title.

With an 18-yard toss to Larry Fitzgerald in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 31-20 victory over the Seahawks, Warner became the 29th player in league history to throw 200 touchdown passes.

"I wish I'd have kept the ball and gave it to him," Fitzgerald said. "I wish I would have known that it was his 200th but that shows you the kind of person Kurt is. Records mean nothing to him. He's all about winning."

More impressively, Warner had his 51st 300-yard game, tying Dan Fouts for fourth on the NFL career list. Fouts needed 181 games to get there, Warner did it in 118. Warner trails only Dan Marino (63), Brett Favre (58) and Peyton Manning (55).

"A prime focus of most of the teams I have been on has been throwing the football," Warner said Wednesday. "Because of that, you get in the record books for something like that."

Modesty aside, Warner has achieved his statistics with remarkable accuracy and an ability to read defenses that has grown through 11 1/2 NFL seasons.

The former league and Super Bowl MVP has repeatedly had to prove his worth after losing his starting job with St. Louis, the New York Giants and even the Cardinals.

He had to beat out Matt Leinart to get the starting job last season, then he directed Arizona on its unlikely march to the Super Bowl.

In the offseason, after signing a two-year, $23 million contract with Arizona, Warner underwent hip surgery, and he acknowledged he was hurting throughout training camp. The offense seemed to sputter through much of the early season before kicking into gear at Chicago and, especially in the second half, against Seattle.

"I think we are feeling a little better offensively," Warner said. "Even still, we haven't put many full, complete games together. I think that is the next step. Come out from the get-go, from the beginning to the end and play that kind of football."

The emergence of dynamic rookie running back Beanie Wells has made the play-action pass suddenly effective.

With Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston as healthy as they have been all season after fighting through injuries, Warner has his full complement of receivers. After a slow start, Fitzgerald had 16 catches for 196 yards and three touchdowns in the past two games. He leads the NFC in receptions with 63. Fitzgerald is tied with Reggie Wayne of Indianapolis for most touchdown catches in the NFL at eight.

Boldin, after being held out against his will against Chicago, caught eight for 105 yards against Seattle. Breaston has nine catches for 145 yards the last two games.

Take away the five-interception game against Carolina, and Warner has thrown six picks in the other seven games. He's completed 67 percent of his passes for 2,515 yards and 18 touchdowns. That puts him on pace for his fourth 4,000-yard passing season -- and second in a row.

The All-Pro Fitzgerald was asked if someday he might look back and see how lucky he was to play with a guy who can throw like that.

"I feel that way already," he said. "He doesn't have to be gone. ... I know how fortunate we are."

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

 

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