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[CBS]: Cardinals fumble away chance to beat Rams

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  • [CBS]: Cardinals fumble away chance to beat Rams

    Cardinals fumble away chance to beat Rams
    Sep. 24, 2006
    CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

    GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Marc Bulger and Kurt Warner took turns trying to fumble the game away Sunday. Warner succeeded.

    The Arizona quarterback, who threw three interceptions, fumbled a snap at the Rams 18 with 1:46 to play and Will Witherspoon recovered to allow St. Louis to hold on and beat the Cardinals 16-14.

    Arizona's Antonio Smith recovered Bulger's fumble at the St. Louis 30 with 1:58 to play and Edgerrin James carried three times to the 18. Bulger said he was thinking of how he was going to face his teammates when Warner dropped Alex Stepanovich's snap and Witherspoon jumped on the ball for St. Louis (2-1).

    "I feel like I hit the lottery," Bulger said.

    The Cardinals were stunned.

    "I couldn't believe it," defensive tackle Darnell Dockett said. "I was tapping myself in the head like `Wake up! That's not reality.' That's definitely something you see on a video game -- but it happened."

    The game ended strangely with Arizona taking a fair catch on a punt as time ran out. Under an obscure rule, that would have given the Cardinals a free kick, and Neil Rackers was ready to take a shot at a 77-yard field goal.

    But Arizona was offsides on the punt. After considerable confusion, the Rams decided to take the penalty and Bulger took a knee to end it.

    It was a fitting conclusion for a game that featured six turnovers, four of them by Warner.

    "Any one of those four plays, if I don't make them, we probably win this football game," Warner said.

    "It was a good snap," he said of his last play. "I just fumbled it."

    One of his interceptions came with Arizona at the Rams 13, another at the St. Louis 1.

    Afterward, Cardinals coach Dennis Green was furious.

    "I don't think I've been so angry since I've been here, and I've had some (bad) days since I've been here, believe me," he said. "But none of them compares to this."

    Bulger was 21-of-31 for 309 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions, and Warner was 19-of-28 for 256 yards and one score.

    Torry Holt caught eight passes for 120 yards, including a 9-yarder for St. Louis' lone touchdown.

    Coach Scott Linehan said the team used a few plays from the old "Greatest Show on Turf" offense that Mike Martz used to run.

    "I think coach did a good job of going back to some things we hooked up on in the past," Holt said. "He (Bulger) can close his eyes and know that I'm there."

    Anquan Boldin had 10 receptions for 129 yards for Arizona.

    Warner left the field to more than a few catcalls from fans calling for rookie Matt Leinart to play.

    "Kurt's the leader and he's going to continue to do that," Boldin said. "He's our guy."

    Down 16-7, the Cardinals (1-2) went 87 yards in 16 plays, using up 8:24 of the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 16-14 on James' 6-yard touchdown run with 4:13 to play. The drive included a 7-yard pass from Warner to Larry Fitzgerald on fourth-and-5 from the Rams 38.

    James had his best game since coming to Arizona, gaining 94 yards in 24 carries. But he isn't accustomed to these kinds of disappointments.

    "It's crazy. It's ridiculous," he said. "We've got to do something different. If we want different results, we've got to do something different. There's something we're not doing right. I don't know. I'm just doing my job. We've got to do something different. I don't know what it is."

    He made it clear he wants the ball more.

    "I was brought here to run the ball and help, and a lot of times I'm out there and I'm really not part of it," James said.

    Warner got a nasty helmet-to-helmet hit from Witherspoon in the first half but said it didn't affect his performance.

    Warner was picked off on consecutive passes to help the Rams take a 13-7 halftime lead.

    Arizona scored first after forcing a three-and-out deep in St. Louis territory. Matt Turk's 31-yard punt gave the Cardinals the ball at the Rams 45. James had runs of 10 and 9 yards and Warner capped the drive with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Fitzgerald to make it 7-0 with 7:04 left in the first quarter.

    After a Jeff Wilkins field goal, Warner was intercepted at the St. Louis 6 and Bulger and Holt went to work on Arizona cornerback Matt Ware. Holt had catches of 42, 14 and 9 yards, the last one for a touchdown, in a five-play, 94-yard drive that put St. Louis ahead 10-7 with 3:20 left in the first half.

    After the kickoff, Warner was picked off again, and Jeff Wilkins kicked a 47-yarder as the half ended to make it 13-7.

    His 21-yard field goal put St. Louis ahead 16-7 with 8:08 left in the third.


    Notes

    -Boldin had his 16th 100-yard reception game.
    -St. Louis was without defensive end Anthony Hargrove, who failed to show up for two practices last week. His agent cited family problems.
    -After being named NFC offensive player of the week in the season opener, Warner has fumbled the ball away twice and thrown four interceptions in two games.

    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service

  • #2
    Re: [CBS]: Cardinals fumble away chance to beat Rams

    Originally posted by Nick View Post
    Marc Bulger and Kurt Warner took turns trying to fumble the game away Sunday. Warner succeeded.
    Maybe I'm seeing things, but in the numerous replays I've watched on the Warner fumble, it looked like his right guard knocked the ball out of his hands. Regardless, Warner took all the heat for it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: [CBS]: Cardinals fumble away chance to beat Rams

      Anyway u want to look at it, the Rams won and I am very happy. Hopefully we will beat Detroit and be sitting pretty at 3-1.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: [CBS]: Cardinals fumble away chance to beat Rams

        taking plays from mike martz offense was a very keen thing for lenihan to do not only that but it kept bulger very comfortable wid his recievers like he knows where they are going to be now 21 for 31 is the true vintage Marc bulger (trying not to talk about the fumble )
        Torry Holt Dont play that

        Comment

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        • Nick
          [NFL.com] Rams pick off Warner, nip Cardinals 16-14
          by Nick
          Rams pick off Warner, nip Cardinals 16-14
          NFL.com wire reports

          GLENDALE, Ariz. (Sept. 24, 2006) -- In a game filled with turnovers, the last one went to St. Louis. So did the victory.

          Kurt Warner, who threw three interceptions, fumbled a snap at the Rams 18 with 1:46 to play and Will Witherspoon recovered to allow St. Louis to hold on to beat the Arizona Cardinals 16-14 Sunday.

          The Cardinals' Antonio Smith recovered Rams quarterback Marc Bulger's fumble at the St. Louis 30 with 1:58 to play and Edgerrin James carried three times to the 18. But Warner dropped Alex Stepanovich's snap and Witherspoon jumped on the ball for St. Louis (2-1).

          It was a fitting end for a game that featured six turnovers, four by the Cardinals.

          One of Warner's interceptions came with Arizona at the Rams 13, another at the St. Louis 1.

          Bulger was 21-of-31 for 309 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions, and Warner was 19-of-28 for 256 yards and one score.

          Torry Holt caught eight passes for 120 yards, including a 9-yarder for St. Louis' lone touchdown. Anquan Boldin had 10 receptions for 129 yards for Arizona.

          Down 16-7, the Cardinals (1-2) went 87 yards in 16 plays, using up 8:24 of the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 16-14 on James' 6-yard touchdown run with 4:13 to play. The drive included a 7-yard pass from Warner to Fitzgerald on fourth-and-5 from the Rams 38.

          James had his best game since coming to Arizona, gaining 94 yards in 24 carries.

          It wasn't enough.

          Coincidence or not, all three of Warner's interceptions came after he took a helmet-to-helmet hit from Witherspoon.

          Warner was picked off on consecutive passes to help the Rams take a 13-7 halftime lead.

          Arizona scored first after forcing a three-and-out deep in St. Louis territory. Matt Turk's 31-yard punt gave the Cardinals the ball at the Rams 45. James had runs of 10 and 9 yards and Warner capped the drive with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald to make it 7-0 with 7:04 left in the first quarter.

          A 32-yard pass interference penalty against Antrel Rolle for pushing Holt set up Jeff Wilkins' 26-yard field goal to cut the lead to 7-3.

          Arizona took the kickoff and drove to the Rams 13. But Warner's pass was deflected by Pia Tinoisamoa into the hands of Ohiomogho Atogwe for an interception at the St. Louis 6.

          Bulger and Holt went to work on Arizona cornerback Matt Ware. Holt had catches of 42, 14 and 9 yards, the last one for a touchdown, in a five-play, 94-yard drive that put St. Louis ahead 10-7 with 3:20 left in the first half.

          After the kickoff, Warner's pass on first down was picked off by Fakhir Brown at the Cardinals 45. St. Louis drove to the 22 but lost 16 yards when Richie Incognito snapped the ball over the head of Bulger in a shotgun...
          -09-24-2006, 05:31 PM
        • moklerman
          Warner almost retires?
          by moklerman
          Silver: Warner isn’t done just yet
          http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_yl...yhoo&type=lgns

          GLENDALE, Ariz. – Kurt Warner nearly tripped over halfback Edgerrin James, stumbling backward after a play-fake as the Buffalo Bills’ pass rush collapsed the pocket around him. The Arizona Cardinals’ 37-year-old quarterback couldn’t see his primary target, Pro Bowl wideout Larry Fitzgerald, as he released a crisp pass to the end zone that only about five NFL quarterbacks would dare attempt.

          Warner, having absorbed a blow to his badly swollen right index finger just before the throw, landed hard on his back and winced. Then he heard the roar of 63,830 fans at University of Phoenix Stadium, reacting to Fitzgerald’s diving catch between two defenders late in the third quarter that would extend Arizona’s lead – another big play by the Cardinals’ most important player in a 41-17 victory over a previously undefeated team.

          That made Warner happy. But not too happy: Instead of racing into the end zone to join the celebration, Warner simply got up and jogged to the sideline with his head down.

          Up in Section 105 his wife, Brenda, shook her head in amazement.

          “Seeing him out there today running around like a little boy, it was such a strange sensation,” she explained after the game. “A week ago, when he told me he was going to retire, I was thinking, ‘Wow, this is it. It’s over.’ Now, seeing him out there having so much fun? No way. He’ll probably keep playing, for who knows how long.”

          When Warner plays the way he did on Sunday, the Cardinals (3-2), who hold a one-game lead over the San Francisco ***** in the NFC West, look capable of finally becoming a legitimate contender. When they host the Dallas Cowboys next Sunday, it’s not far-fetched to think that Warner could outduel Tony Romo and lead Arizona to its ninth victory in 11 home games under second-year coach Ken Whisenhunt.

          Seven days before bringing renewed hope to the Valley of the Sun, Warner was at the lowest point of his professional career. Distressed over a terrifying head injury to teammate Anquan Boldin, the father of seven had decided he was done playing football, effective immediately.

          “Something scary like that just makes you contemplate what’s really important and puts football in perspective,” Warner reflected after Sunday’s game. “It’s things like that make you say, ‘This game isn’t everything, and I’m not sure if I can do this anymore.’ Because the bottom line is that all I really want is to be able to go home to my wife and kids.”

          A week earlier the deeply religious passer worried that Boldin might not have that privilege. Warner was in a dark and scary place as he rode a team bus from Giants Stadium, where the Cards had just been drubbed by the New York Jets, to the Newark Airport. Warner had been responsible for six turnovers in that 56-35 defeat, throwing...
          -10-06-2008, 07:56 AM
        • RamWraith
          No glory, only gloom for Rams
          by RamWraith
          With Kurt Warner at the helm, Cardinals put up 31 straight points to bury his old team
          BY STEVE KORTE - News-Democrat

          ST. LOUIS -- On a day that former coach Dick Vermeil was honored, former quarterback Kurt Warner reminded everyone at the Edward Jones Dome how the St. Louis Rams' glory days are a thing of the past.

          Warner threw for 342 yards and two touchdowns as the Arizona Cardinals took command of the NFC West with a 34-13 win over the Rams on Sunday.

          The Cardinals rolled up 510 yards of offense against the Rams, who managed only 210 yards of offense as their running game never got in gear because of injuries.
          "We had no running game whatsoever, and if you're going to throw the ball all day, you're going to get some turnovers," Rams coach Jim Haslett said.

          That was Haslett's way of saying that when quarterback Marc Bulger is your leading rusher, you're in trouble.

          Bulger committed three turnovers -- two interceptions and a fumble -- that led to 10 points for the Cardinals.

          "That just killed us," Haslett said of the turnovers. "They're averaging 28 points a game, and then you turn around and have three turnovers, two of them that led to points."

          Pro Bowl running back Steven Jackson played despite a thigh injury, but he clearly wasn't himself as he had only seven carries for 17 yards.

          Antonio Pittman suffered a hamstring injury on the first play of the game. He had 10 carries for 12 yards.

          That left Bulger with three carries for 32 yards as the team's top rusher.

          By contrast, the Cardinals rushed for 177 yards, including 22 carries for 109 yards and one touchdown from rookie running back Tim Hightower.

          Hightower was the Cardinals' first 100-yard rusher since Edgeriin James ran for 102 yards on Dec. 30, 2007 against the Rams.

          The Rams hit the halfway point of the season with a 2-6 record, three games behind the Cardinals (5-3) in the NFC West.

          Asked how the Rams can keep their heads up in the second half of the season, Haslett said, "They're professionals. They get paid. They're going to come out and play hard every game, and they're going to practice that way. If they don't, if someone doesn't do it, we'll get someone else to do it."

          It was vintage Warner as the man who led the Rams to a pair of Super Bowl appearances completed 23 of 34 passes for 342 yards and two touchdowns. His quarterback rating was 120.0 for the game.

          "It is a little bit like that," Warner said of comparing the Cardinals' current offense to the Rams' Greatest Show on Turf. "We have a long way to go to get where we were with the Rams in those three seasons (1999-2001) where we were flying high, but there are times where there are glimpses of what we did then.

          "All I...
          -11-03-2008, 03:20 PM
        • RamWraith
          Believe It Or Not: Strange finish favors Rams
          by RamWraith
          By Jim Thomas
          ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
          09/25/2006

          Rams Big Red


          GLENDALE, ARIZ. — First the ball squirted out and onto that retractable grass field at Cardinals Stadium. Then, Arizona defensive end Antonio Smith emerged from the pile with the football. And then the celebration, with the sellout crowd going absolutely nuts.

          For Marc Bulger, this was "Twilight" Zone material. He stood all by his lonesome on the Rams' sideline. As the clock ticked down, and Arizona maneuvered for a game-winning field goal, it was as if Bulger's football life flashed in front of him.

          "Everything came on me at that point," Bulger said. "You work all year round. You know how hard everyone in this (locker) room works. And the organization, the accountants -- everyone.

          "And then to lose the ballgame. That's a big deal. One-16th of the season gone because of one stupid little ball-handling thing."


          But that's not what happened. Because just 16 seconds after Bulger's botched fumble with 2 minutes 3 seconds remaining in the game, Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner amazingly did the same thing. Warner's eighth fumble of the season came on a botched exchange with center Alex Stepanovich. Linebacker Will Witherspoon fell on the ball, preserving a 16-14 St. Louis victory.

          "I didn't have a chance to take a step," Witherspoon said. "The ball was there ... just right there. So I just jumped on the pile to get on top of it. And that's where the end of the story is."

          Well, not exactly.

          It's rare enough for a close game to feature a botched fumble in the final two minutes by both starting quarterbacks. But the ending got even weirder. Arizona had a timeout remaining, so the Rams couldn't quite run out the clock following the Warner fumble.

          Matt Turk punted the ball away with 5 seconds left with Troy Walters fielding the football with a fair catch as time expired. There was an offsides penalty against Arizona on the play, so the game was over. Right?

          Uh, no. For a few minutes, mass confusion reigned. Here's what was going through offensive guard Adam Timmerman's head at the time:

          "Whose ball is it? Is it the offense? Are we going to punt again? What's the deal here?" Timmerman said. "That was weird."

          Under NFL rules, a team can attempt an uncontested free kick after a fair catch at any point in the game. This is so even if time expires at the end of the fair-catch play, as was the case here.

          When the Rams originally declined the penalty, it was explained to them by the officiating crew that declining would allow Arizona to attempt a free kick. So instead of giving St. Louisan Neil Rackers a chance at a 77-yard -- that's right -- 77-yard desperation field goal, the Rams accepted the...
          -09-25-2006, 04:29 AM
        • RamWraith
          Bulger flops in Warner's presence
          by RamWraith
          By Jeff Gordon
          STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
          11/02/2008

          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...
          -11-03-2008, 04:19 AM
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