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Notes From Sunday’s Win in St.Louis

The Cardinals improved to 5-3 with their 34-13 win over the Rams in St. Louis, their fourth consecutive win vs. the Rams, and now have a three-game lead in the NFC West with the three other teams all sitting at 2-6. The Cardinals improved to 2-0 against the NFC West this season.

Since the 1970 NFL merger, the Cardinals have had a three-game division lead just one other time. In 1970, the Cards were 7-0 and led the Redskins and Eagles (both 4-3) by three games. The three-game lead lasted just one week but the Cardinals won the division at 10-4.

The team’s 5-3 record is its best at the midway point since the team started 5-3 in 1984.

Last year, the Cardinals had a penchant for close games and played more games decided by eight points or fewer (12) than any team in the NFL. The team’s average margin of victory was 5.7 points.

Yesterday’s 34-13 victory at St. Louis was Arizona’s third victory of the year by 20 or more points (31-10 vs. Miami and 41-17 vs. Buffalo). The last time the Cardinals posted three victories of 20+ points in a season was 1970. The Cardinals and Giants are the only two NFL teams with three victories of 20 or more points in 2008.

Including a 48-19 win over the Rams in the 2007 regular season finale, Arizona has won 4 of its last 9 games by 20+ points. Between 1986-2006, the Cardinals won 6 games by 20 or more and between 1970-2006, the Cardinals recorded 23 victories of 20+ points in 569 regular season games played.

With 34 points against the Rams, the Cardinals have scored a league-high 234 points on the season and are now averaging 29.3 points-per-game. The Cardinals 29 total TDs are also a league-high, followed by Dallas and New Orleans with 27 a piece.

The Cardinals have now scored:
30+ points in 10 of the last 16 games and in five of the eight games this season
20+ points in 15 of the last 16 games and in seven of the eight games this season

The Cardinals defense had season lows with 231 net yards allowed, 61 rushing yards, and only allowed seven passing first downs.

Arizona’s 21-point margin-of-victory vs. the Rams was the largest margin of victory in an away game for the Cardinals since 12/30/01 at Carolina when they defeated the Panthers 30-7.

In each of the last five wins vs. the Rams (and seven of the last eight) the Cardinals have scored at least 30 points.

The Cardinals won their fourth consecutive game at the Edward Jones Dome, giving the Cards four straight wins in an away stadium for the first since they defeated the Eagles six consecutive times at Veterans Stadium between 1973 and 1978.

The Cardinals posted a season-high 510 yards of total offense, their highest total in a non-overtime game since totaling 513 yard of offense vs. New Orleans on 12/20/98. Arizona outgained the Rams 510 to 231 for the game andhas now racked up 935 net yards in the last two games (425 at Carolina) and are on pace for 6,190 total yards on the season which would be the second-highest total in team history (6,348 in 1984).

The Cardinals had 177 yards rushing on 33 carries for the game, their highest yardage total since rushing for 211 yards on 40 carries against the Saints on 10/3/04. The Cardinals 11 rushing first downs against the Rams marked the team’s highest total since that same 2004 game against the Saints.

In the Cardinals two wins vs. NFC West teams this season, they have a plus-eight turnover ratio (5-0 at San Francisco in week one and 3-0 in St. Louis last week).

The Cardinals played their fourth turnover-free game of the season on Sunday vs. St. Louis, finishing the game with a plus-three turnover margin. The last time the Cardinals had four games or more without a turnover in a single season was in 1985 when they also had four.

Arizona had 342 yards through the air vs. the Rams with no receiver going over 100 yards on the day. The Cardinals had four receivers finish the day with at least 50 yards.

The Cardinals held a 38:38 to 21:22 advantage in time of possession over the Rams, a difference of 17:16.

The Cardinals 38:38 time of possession is a season-high

In the fourth quarter, while holding a commanding lead, the Cardinals held the ball for 12:00 compared to 3:00 for the Rams.

The Rams held a 7:58 to 7:02 advantage in time of possession in the second quarter but were outscored 24-0 by the Cardinals.

In the 2nd Quarter
The Cardinals outscored the Rams 24-0 in the second quarter. It was their highest point total in any quarter since scoring 24 points on 11/18/01 in the 4th quarter against the Detroit Lions. The last time the Cardinals scored 24 points in the second quarter was 11/22/87 in Philadelphia.

The Cardinals outgained the Rams 229-18 in total net yards in the second quarter. The Cardinals averaged 12.7 yards-per-play in their 18 plays in the quarter while the Rams averaged 0.95 yards-per-play in their 19 plays.

Arizona piled up 192 yards passing in the second quarter to the Rams minus-two yards passing. Below isa look at the receiving totals in the second quarter:

For the Rams, QB Marc Bulger ended the game as the team’s leading rusher with 32 yards.

The Cardinals forced two more fumbles yesterday, recovering one. Their 17 forced fumbles on the season rank second in the NFL behind only Minnesota (20) and their 10 fumble recoveries also rank second in the NFL, behind only Kansas City (11).

Antrel Rolle’s 40-yard interception return for a TD in the second quarter gives him four INT returns for TDs in his career. Only Aeneas Williams (6) and Larry Wilson (5) have more in franchise history. Rolle’s 40-yard TD at St. Louis is the shortest of his four returns, with the others covering 55, 54 and 57 yards.

Adrian Wilson’s second quarter sack extended the Cardinals games-with-a-sack streak to 31, the longest current streak in the NFL. It was Wilson’s first sack since he took down Alex Smith on 12/24/06 at San Francisco.

Jerheme Urban’s 56-yard TD reception in the second quarter was the longest of his career, besting the 46-yard reception he hauled in against Arizona on 11/6/05 as a member of the Seattle Seahawks.

J.J. Arrington recorded career-highs in both rushing yards (62) and receiving yards (57) against the Rams on Sunday. He also tied his career-high with five receptions.

Boldin reached 450 receptions in his 74th career game, becoming the fastest receiver in NFL history to reach the mark. Boldin reached 450 reception in seven games less than previous record holder Lionel Taylor (81).

Boldin’s five-yard TD reception from Warner in the third quarter gives him a TD reception in five consecutive games, tying the franchise record, last set by Larry Fitzgerald in 2007.

Boldin’s eight TD receptions lead the NFL and he is one TD reception shy of tying his single-season high of nine, established last season in 14 games played. Boldin now has 17 TD receptions in his last 18 games after collecting 20 total TDs in his first 56 career games.

With 48 points on the season, Boldin is tied with New Orleans’ Reggie Bush and Philadelphia’s Brian Westbrook for first in the NFC among non-kickers, despite having only played in six games. Among all NFL players, Boldin trails only Tennessee’s LenDale White who has 60 points on the season.

Warner’s 56-yard TD pass to Jerheme Urban in the second quarter gives him at least one TD pass in 16 consecutive games, tying Charley Johnson (1964-65) for the second-longest streak in franchise history. He trails only Neil Lomax, who had a TD pass in 19 consecutive games in 1983-84.

Below are listing of Warner’s statistics for the season and where they rank in the NFL through nine weeks:

Att Comp Pct Yds TD Rating

296 (3rd) 207 (2nd) 69.9 (1st) 2,431 (2nd) 16 (2nd) 104.2 (2nd)

Warner’s two TD passes against the Rams give him two TD passes in each of his last six games and he now has multiple TD passes in 15 of his last 16 games.

Warner completed 23-of-34 passes for 342 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs and a passer rating of 120.0. It marked Warner’s fourth game this season with a passer rating of 100.0+ and third in his last four games.

Warner’s 342 yards passing in the game gave him his 45th career 300-yard game. He now has 15 300-yard games as a member of the Cardinals, the second-highest total in franchise history (Neil Lomax—19).

Warner has four 300-yard games in 2008 and is averaging 303.9 passing yards per game this season.

Warner has now thrown for 723 yards on 58-of-83 passing (69.9%) with four TDs and one INT in the last two games.

Warner improved to 2-0 in starts at the Edward Jones Dome since leaving the St. Louis Rams, both wins coming as a member of the Cardinals.

With 2,431 passing yards on the season, Warner is now on pace to throw for 4,862 yards on the season which would be the second-highest total in NFL history, topping the 4,830 yards he threw for in his MVP season in 2001.

Rookie Tim Hightower made his first career start and rushed for 109 yards and a TD on 22 carries for the game. He became the first Cardinals rookie to rush for 100 yards since Ronald Moore ran for 135 yards on 12/26/93 vs. the NY Giants. Hightower became the first Cardinals rookie to rush for 100 yards in his first career start since Ottis Anderson rushed for 193 yards in his first start vs. Dallas on 9/2/79.

Hightower’s 30-yard TD run in the second quarter was the longest rush of his career. It was the longest TD run for the Cardinals since Jake Plummer had a 34-yard touchdown run on 10/27/02 @ San Francisco.

Hightower now has seven rushing TDs this season and is just two shy of tying Ronald Moore’s rookie record of nine, established in 1993. Hightower’s seven TDs on the season are the highest total among NFL rookies.

Since joining the NFC West in 2002, 10 of the Cardinals 14 100-yard rushing games have come against NFC West foes, including both 100-yard games this season. The Cardinals are 10-0 in those 10 NFC West games.

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