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Bulger flops in Warner's presence
By Jeff Gordon
STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
With Kurt Warner returning to the Edward Jones Dome as a Cardinal, all eyes were on Rams quarterback Marc Bulger.
And what those eyes saw was really unfortunate.
Bulger was ineffective Sunday. So were many of his teammates, including hobbled running back Steven Jackson.
They offered little resistance as Warner led the Cardinals to a critical 34-13 NFC West victory.
“They kicked our butts,” Bulger told reporters. “We had an early lead and in the second quarter we kind of fell apart.”
Actually, the Rams TOTALLY fell apart. So Arizona, 5-3, built on its commanding division lead and the Rams, 2-6, virtually kissed off their hopes of contending for postseason play.
Myriad factors created this blowout, but the disparity of quarterback play was huge.
Warner starred on the day the Rams placed former coach Dick Vermeil on their Ring of Honor. The quarterback of the “Greatest Show on Turf” teams turned back the clock and threw the ball all over the fake grass field.
He reminded fans what they have been missing in recent years. He left St. Louisans nostalgic for the good old days of Mike Martz’s high-scoring offense.
“We have a long way to go to get where we were with the Rams in those three seasons when we were flying high,” Warner said. “But there are times where there are glimpses of what we did then. All I have been trying to do since I left there is recapture some of the specialness that we had. We’ve got moments of it now.”
Warner completed 23 of 34 yards and two touchdowns. He kept bombing away until the Rams defense finally cracked.
At the expense of his old team, Warner, 37, continued his unlikely quest for a Pro Bowl berth. Rams management believed the two-time MVP was finished back in 2004, but it was wrong.
Five seasons after leaving St. Louis, Warner looked as good as ever.
As for Bulger, well . . . he was just awful, again. Fans will continue their call for back-up Trent Green after this fiasco.
Bulger threw an interception that Arizona returned for a touchdown. His second-quarter fumble led to a Cardinals field goal.
After throwing an early 80-yard touchdown pass to Derek Stanley, he struggled through one bad offensive sequence after another until the game got out of reach.
Overall, he was 16 of 33 for 186 yards. He suffered two sacks and threw two interceptions.
The Rams could have aided Bulger’s cause by establishing a ground game, but they did not. Jackson’s return from his quadriceps injury (on a part-time basis) did not energize the offense. In fact, he dropped a first-down pass and a TD pass.
When Bulger leads the team in rushing, that is not a positive sign. (Warner, by comparison, got 171 yards from Tim Hightower and J.J. Arrington.)
“On offense, we had no run game whatsoever,” Rams coach Jim Haslett said. “So, if you’re going to throw the ball all day, you’re going to get some turnovers.
“We can’t give them extra points through turnovers. That was the big thing. That killed us.
“You can’t give the (Arizona) offense the ball that many times without thinking they will score points, because they score points. That is what they do. They are effective and they do a great job.”
So there was lots of blame to go around. But with Warner putting up huge numbers for the other side – and with Vermeil on hand, along with other retirees from the “Greatest Show” days – this was really bad time for Bulger to stink.
He won’t want to read the STLtoday.com forums and live chats this week. He won’t want to listen to sports talk radio, either.
Comparisons to Kurt Warner are inevitable and Bulger will suffer from them.
Re: Bulger flops in Warner's presence[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
Re: Bulger flops in Warner's presenceFive seasons after leaving St. Louis, Warner looked as good as ever.
Anyone?"Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod
-11-03-2008 #4Registered User
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Re: Bulger flops in Warner's presenceI agree. Now who among us would have wanted to keep him as a backup (at starter prices by the way) for 5 years in anticipation of his return?
Last edited by HUbison; -11-03-2008 at 02:51 PM.
Re: Bulger flops in Warner's presence"Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod
-11-03-2008 #6Revelstoke Guest
Re: Bulger flops in Warner's presence
He has been mediocore at best for 4 and some odd years since leaving, he hasn't really won anything, and neither have we. I see nothing, absolutly nothing, to say that together for the past five years the RAMS and KW would have done any better.
Re: Bulger flops in Warner's presence
I often ask myself how much it is or was Kurt and Marc or how much it was Faulk, Bruce, Torry, Boldin, and Fitzgerald. Those are some pretty dang good offensive players- possible HOF players. Obviously it is important to have a QB, but what if it was everyone around them that makes them look good? I mean, was I the only one that saw that ridiculous play Boldin made with the fumbled snap? i sometimes think my high school QB could put up those kind of numbers with big time weapons like that
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