for this game

Warner throws three touchdowns as Cardinals edge Falcons

Dec 24, 2007 - 2:23 AM GLENDALE, Arizona (Ticker) -- It took an extra few minutes, but the Arizona Cardinals managed to avoid a losing season. At least for one more week.

Kurt Warner completed 36-of-53 passes for 361 yards and three touchdowns and led a pair of field goal drives at the end of regulation and the start of overtime to lift the Cardinals to a 30-27 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

"Never a dull moment but it is nice to be to the winning end," Warner said. "Maybe we could have taken care of it a little earlier but things happened for us that didn't happen earlier in the year. Maybe that is a sign that we are growing up."

Anquan Boldin made 13 catches for 162 yards and a pair of touchdowns for Arizona (7-8), which can clinch a non-losing season with a victory next week over the St. Louis Rams.

"This was a big game for me. We have a lot at stake. We will be a lot better off if we finish 8-8," Boldin said. "We had different packages and we tried to move me around. We had a lot of different looks and trying to create some mismatches and we were able to take advantage of that."

After the Cardinals won the toss at the beginning of the extra session, Warner and veteran running back Edgerrin James went to work, driving the team 58 yards in 10 plays to set up Neil Rackers' 31-yard field goal with 9:30 left in overtime.

"It felt good to come through when the team needed me," Rackers said. "It was about the same distance as the San Francisco game and I put them both through. They tried to freeze me but my favorite thing to do is to have some time out on the field alone so I was happy that they froze me."

Warner completed all five of his pass attempts on the game-winning drive, and James rushed five times to put Rackers in position.

"I think that the fact that we play a lot of hurry-up anyway helped us at the end," Warner said. "Our guys feel comfortable in that package. We have run it for so long it has prepared us and when I get the freedom to see what is going on, what is our matchups, that makes us tougher."

Overtime never would have been as issue if not for a big fourth quarter from Atlanta quarterback Chris Redman, who completed 16-of-21 passes for 155 yards and a touchdown in the period. The career backup finished the game with 315 yards on 28-of-42 passing for two touchdowns and an interception.

With the Falcons trailing, 24-14, at the start of the fourth, Redman led an 83-yard drive that veteran kicker Morten Anderson capped with a 23-yard field goal.

The Cardinals were unable to get anything going on the offensive side of the ball for much of the second half, and punted on their first two drives of the fourth, leaving Atlanta with solid field position.

"We didn't play very well in the fourth quarter. Maybe we could have been a little more aggressive in the second half like we were in the first half," Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "But with all the close games we have had this year, maybe now we know that we can come back tie it and win in overtime."

Redman put the advantage to good use on the Falcons' second drive of the fourth, starting at the Arizona 48-yard line and finishing with a 7-yard touchdown pass to tight end Alge Crumpler.

"Guys battled to the end. We are all proud of the way we played," Redman said. "We were down at halftime but no one in this locker room quit. We all wanted to rally and almost pulled it off. I am disappointed because we needed one more (score) so back to the drawing board to figure out how we can get one more."

It looked as if Atlanta had earned interim coach Emmitt Thomas his first career win when Anderson converted a 21-yard field goal with 1:38 left in the game, giving his team a 27-24 lead.

But Warner drove Arizona 63 yards on nine plays before Rackers converted a 29-yard field goal with no time on the clock to force the extra period.

"We got ourselves in a hole early in the ballgame, came back and played Falcon football," Thomas said. "We laid an egg last week and we wanted to come out this week and make the fans of Atlanta, our owner and our organization proud. We just came up a little short defensively."

Warner was sharp at the start, capping a 10-play, 80-yard drive with a 4-yard strike to Boldin to put the Cardinals on the board with a 7-0 lead at the 4:14 mark of the opening quarter. Warner completed 5-of-6 passes on the drive, including a 31-yarder to Boldin to put Arizona in Falcons' territory.

Atlanta responded on the ensuing drive, moving the ball 74 yards and tying the score on Jason Snelling's 1-yard rush to the left side with 1:01 left in the first. It was the first career touchdown for the rookie running back.

The two teams traded scores again in the second quarter, with Warner hitting Boldin for a 13-yard touchdown and the Falcons responding on their very first play of the ensuing drive when Redman and Laurent Robinson hooked up for a 74-yard score.

The Cardinals were not done in the second quarter, however, as James rushed five times for 24 yards on the next possession to set up a 32-yard field goal by Rackers.

Warner ran the two-minute drill to perfection at the end of the half to push Arizona's advantage to 24-14. With 2:32 remaining on the clock, the veteran quarterback completed 6-of-8 passes and closed the drive by connecting with backup running back J.J. Arrington for a 4-yard score with 16 seconds left in the half.






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    Falcons vs. CardinalsJan 15 11:54 AM
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  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH
    --- --- --- ---
    ATLANTA 7 7 0 13
    ARIZONA 7 17 0 3
    OT TOTAL
    --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 27
    ARIZONA 3 30 FINAL IN OVERTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: ARI - TD, ANQUAN BOLDIN 4 YD PASS FROM KURT
    WARNER (NEIL R

    Dec 23 7:31 PM


  • NFL
    FG ARI
    NEIL RACKERS 31 YD
    ATLANTA 27
    ARIZONA 30 9:30 LEFT, 1ST OT

    Falcons vs. CardinalsDec 23 7:31 PM
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    FG ARI
    NEIL RACKERS 29 YD
    ATLANTA 27
    ARIZONA 27 0:00 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Dec 23 7:19 PM


  • NFL
    FG ARI
    NEIL RACKERS 29 YD
    ATLANTA 27
    ARIZONA 27 0:00 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Falcons vs. CardinalsDec 23 7:19 PM
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    FG ATL
    MORTEN ANDERSEN 21 YD
    ATLANTA 27
    ARIZONA 24 1:38 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Falcons vs. CardinalsDec 23 7:11 PM
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  • NFL
    TD ATL
    ALGE CRUMPLER 7 YD PASS FROM CHRIS REDMAN
    (MORTEN ANDERSEN KICK)
    ATLANTA 24
    ARIZONA 24 4:45 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Falcons vs. CardinalsDec 23 6:56 PM
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    Falcons vs. CardinalsDec 23 6:56 PM


  • NFL
    FG ATL
    MORTEN ANDERSEN 23 YD
    ATLANTA 17
    ARIZONA 24 8:52 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Falcons vs. CardinalsDec 23 6:41 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 7 7 0 14
    ARIZONA 7 17 0 24 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: ARI - TD, ANQUAN BOLDIN 4 YD PASS FROM KURT
    WARNER (NEIL RACKERS KICK), 10:46.
    Drive: 10 plays, 80 yards in 5:14.
    Key plays: Warner 31-yard pass to
    Boldin to Atlanta 36; Warner
    21-ya

    Dec 23 6:27 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 7 7 14
    ARIZONA 7 17 24 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: ARI - TD, ANQUAN BOLDIN 4 YD PASS FROM MATT
    WARE (NEIL RACKERS KICK), 10:46.
    Drive: 10 plays, 80 yards in 5:14.
    Key plays: Warner 31-yard pass to
    Boldin to Atlanta 36; Warner
    21-yard pas

    Dec 23 5:36 PM


  • NFL
    TD ARI
    J.J. ARRINGTON 4 YD PASS FROM KURT WARNER
    (NEIL RACKERS KICK)
    ATLANTA 14
    ARIZONA 24 0:16 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Falcons vs. CardinalsDec 23 5:34 PM


  • NFL
    FG ARI
    NEIL RACKERS 32 YD
    ATLANTA 14
    ARIZONA 17 4:01 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Falcons vs. CardinalsDec 23 5:19 PM
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    Falcons vs. CardinalsDec 23 5:18 PM


  • NFL
    TD ATL
    LAURENT ROBINSON 74 YD PASS FROM CHRIS REDMAN
    (MORTEN ANDERSEN KICK)
    ATLANTA 14
    ARIZONA 14 7:54 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Falcons vs. CardinalsDec 23 5:06 PM


  • NFL
    TD ARI
    ANQUAN BOLDIN 13 YD PASS FROM KURT WARNER
    (NEIL RACKERS KICK)
    ATLANTA 7
    ARIZONA 14 8:10 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Falcons vs. CardinalsDec 23 5:00 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 7 7
    ARIZONA 7 7 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: ARI - TD, ANQUAN BOLDIN 4 YD PASS FROM MATT
    WARE (NEIL RACKERS KICK), 10:46.
    Drive: 10 plays, 80 yards in 5:14.
    Key plays: Warner 31-yard pass to
    Boldin to Atlanta 36; Warner
    21-yard

    Dec 23 4:42 PM


  • NFL
    TD ATL
    JASON SNELLING 1 YD RUN
    (MORTEN ANDERSEN KICK)
    ATLANTA 7
    ARIZONA 7 1:01 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Falcons vs. CardinalsDec 23 4:38 PM


  • NFL
    TD ARI
    ANQUAN BOLDIN 4 YD PASS FROM MATT WARE
    (NEIL RACKERS KICK)
    ATLANTA 0
    ARIZONA 7 4:14 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Falcons vs. CardinalsDec 23 4:26 PM