Warner, Cardinals beat Rams 21-13 - KMOV.com

Warner, Cardinals beat Rams 21-13

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Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald catches an 11-yard pass for a touchdown during the second quarter of an NFL football game against the St. Louis Rams, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Curry) By Jeff Curry Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald catches an 11-yard pass for a touchdown during the second quarter of an NFL football game against the St. Louis Rams, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Curry) By Jeff Curry
St. Louis Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo stands on the sidelines during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Curry) By Jeff Curry St. Louis Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo stands on the sidelines during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Curry) By Jeff Curry

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Kurt Warner spent the second half pacing the sideline after taking a blow to the head, still in uniform but shut down for the day. The Arizona Cardinals quarterback had already done enough to make it three straight victories over his former team in the stadium where he rose to stardom.

Warner threw for 203 yards and two touchdowns while building a 21-3 cushion, and the NFC West leaders hung on late, remaining unbeaten on the road with a 21-13 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday. Tim Hightower had 110 yards on 14 carries, the first 100-yard game of the season for a team ranked next to last in the NFL in rushing, helping the Cardinals (7-3) win for the sixth time in seven games.

Steven Jackson became the first Rams player to post five consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, gaining 116 yards on 24 carries with a fourth quarter touchdown that cut the deficit to eight points. It's also the fourth straight 100-yard game for Jackson.

The Rams (1-9) showed life in the second half after a miserable start, but are 0-4 at home after losing to the Cardinals for the sixth straight time. Earlier this season they became the first team in NFL history to face three straight unbeaten teams at home, losing to the Vikings, Colts and Saints, and management purchased more than 4,000 tickets to sell out the game and avoid a local TV blackout.

The Rams drove to the 7 late in the game needing a TD and a 2-point conversion to tie. Marc Bulger threw incomplete for Donnie Avery in the end zone on fourth-and-4.

Warner was 15 for 19 and usually had plenty of time in the pocket. The four incompletions came on two balls he threw away, a third that was batted down and a fourth on a left-handed attempt while in the grasp of defensive end Chris Long.

It appeared Warner was hurt by safety O.J. Atogwe's high hit on a blitz that drove the quarterback's head into the turf. Warner lay on the field for a few seconds before getting up, and stayed in the game for the last six plays of a 90-yard drive capped by Beanie Wells' 1-yard run.

Matt Leinart took over after a late turnover at the end of the half and Arizona mostly sat on the lead. That was enough to make Warner 5-2 against the Rams, with whom he became a storybook star while leading the team to two Super Bowls in three years from 1999-2001. He's 26-4 at the Edward Jones Dome, including 4-0 in the playoffs, with 67 touchdown passes and 34 interceptions.

The Cardinals stumbled early when Warner and Wells missed connections on a pitchout for a lost fumble at the Arizona 25, leading to a Rams field goal. The rest of the half was all Arizona, with Hightower gaining 91 yards on eight carries, Anquan Boldin catching seven passes for 96 yards and his first TD since Week 3, and Larry Fitzgerald catching six passes for 71 yards and a score.

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

 

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