Rams Just Fine Without Warner

Monday, October 30th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The St. Louis Rams finally got to play a full game with the quarterback for whom their virtually unstoppable offense is designed. And after a shaky start, Trent Green didn't let them down.

Of course, he had Marshall Faulk on his side.

The defending Super Bowl champions extended their NFL record of scoring 30 or more points to 14 straight games with a 34-24 victory at San Francisco.

While Green wasn't exactly, well, Kurt Warner, he went 22-for-39 for 310 yards and two touchdown passes to Faulk.

The 1999 Offensive Player of the Year also had two touchdowns rushing and 144 total yards, shaking off a sore knee and a partially separated shoulder to dominate the 49ers (2-7).

``I didn't want to be the one to mess things up here,'' said Green, who admitted to being jittery replacing Warner, last year's MVP who is sidelined for about a month with a broken finger. ``We've had a lot of success the last season and a half. I was trying to do everything perfect (early on), and you can't play the game that way.''

The way Faulk is playing hasn't been matched by anyone else. He has 14 touchdowns this season for the Rams (7-1).

And the St. Louis defense, with newly hired assistant Bud Carson in charge, shut out the potent 49ers for the last 23 minutes.

``I felt this was the best game we've played since I've been here,'' coach Mike Martz said. ``We looked like we were having fun again.''

Also having fun Sunday for the first time in a long while were Tampa Bay, Jacksonville and Atlanta, each breaking losing streaks.

The Buccaneers handed Minnesota its first loss — 41-13. The Jaguars needed overtime to subdue Dallas 23-17. Atlanta edged Carolina 13-12.

Also, it was Oakland 15, San Diego 13; Buffalo 23, the New York Jets 20; Miami 28, Green Bay 20; Indianapolis 30, Detroit 18; Kansas City 24, Seattle; New Orleans 21, Arizona 10; the New York Giants 24, Philadelphia 7; Pittsburgh 9, Baltimore 6; and Cincinnati 12, Cleveland 3.

Tennessee is at Washington on Monday night.

Denver, Chicago and New England were off this week.

Buccaneers 41, Vikings 13

For the second time in three years, the Vikings were 7-0 heading to Tampa and lost. The Bucs (4-4) ended a four-game slide.

Shaun King threw for a career-high four touchdowns, Keyshawn Johnson had his first 100-yard receiving day for Tampa Bay, and Derrick Brooks scored on a 34-yard interception return.

Warren Sapp sacked Daunte Culpepper, forcing a fumble that set up Tampa Bay's first touchdown, and the defense also had two interceptions.

``Even as the lead kept growing, we knew we had to finish,'' safety John Lynch said. We hadn't been doing that the last four weeks.''

Jaguars 23, Cowboys 17, OT

Mark Brunell threw for three touchdowns, including a short pass to Alvis Whitted that turned into a 37-yard score on the first drive of overtime as Jacksonville (3-6) ended a five-game losing streak. Whitted, playing for the injured Jimmy Smith, also caught a 3-yard touchdown pass.

Dallas (3-5) lost quarterback Troy Aikman in the first half with a sore back.

Falcons 13, Panthers 12

The Falcons (3-6) snapped a five-game losing streak that equaled the team's longest since Dan Reeves became coach in 1997. Atlanta, 2-0 against Carolina (3-5) this season, won on Morten Andersen's 31-yard field goal with 2:53 left..

Joe Nedney kicked four field goals for Carolina. But the Falcons drove for the game's only touchdown, Jamal Anderson's 2-yard run with 5:04 to go. Chris Chandler, starting five days after father-in-law John Brodie suffered a major stroke, completed seven passes for 68 yards on the TD drive.

Raiders 15, Chargers 13

Sebastian Janikowski kicked his fifth field goal, a 24-yarder with 13 seconds remaining and kept San Diego (0-8) the only winless team in the league.

The Chargers appeared to have the game in hand when Jim Harbaugh threw his second touchdown pass of the night to Freddie Jones for a 13-12 lead with 5:58 to play.

But Oakland (7-1) moved 68 yards on 13 plays to set up Janikowski's winner. He also made kicks from 40 twice, 54 and 29 yards.

Bills 23, Jets 20

Steve Christie maintained his late-game touch for the Bills (4-4), while the Jets lost theirs at Buffalo.

Christie's 34-yard field goal as time ran out gave him three game-winning kicks in the final minute of the fourth quarter or overtime this season. New York (6-2) appeared poised for its fifth fourth-quarter rally to victory when Sam Cowart, who recovered two fumbles, stuffed Richie Anderson for a 5-yard loss. That forced the Jets to settle for John Hall's 36-yard field goal with 2:20 left, tying the score.

New York had four turnovers, but also came back from a 17-7 deficit.

Dolphins 28, Packers 20

Perhaps still smarting from blowing a 30-7 lead in the fourth quarter to the Jets last Monday night, Miami spotted Green Bay a 17-0 lead on the visitors' first three series.

The Dolphins (6-2) answered with four consecutive touchdowns in a span of 13:06. Larry Izzo ran 39 yards with a fake punt to set up a TD, and Jeff Ogden scored on an 81-yard punt return.

The Packers (3-5) dropped to 0-6 at Miami.

Colts 30, Lions 18

Peyton Manning threw for three touchdowns in the opening half, but was intercepted twice as the Colts had five second-half turnovers.

Manning hit Marcus Pollard for 31 yards, Marvin Harrison for 3 and Ken Dilger for 12, and Edgerrin James rushed for 139 yards at Indianapolis (6-2).

Detroit (5-3) managed just two first downs until its final drive, and 12 of its first 19 plays went for zero or negative yardage. The Lions also gave up a safety when Charlie Batch was sacked by Josh Williams in the end zone.

Chiefs 24, Seahawks 19

Seattle (2-7) couldn't snap its losing streak, dropping its fifth in a row, the longest slide in Mike Holmgren's nine years as an NFL head coach.

Elvis Grbac teamed with Derrick Alexander for TDs of 59 and 50 yards, and with Kevin Lockett for 34 yards for the visiting Chiefs (5-3).

Saints 21, Cardinals 10

In winning its fourth straight, New Orleans (5-3) ruined the head coaching debut of Dave McGinnis for host Arizona (2-6).

Keith Mitchell returned an interception 40 yards for a touchdown. After Mac Cody fumbled a Saints punt and Fred McAfee recovered at the Arizona 17, Jeff Blake threw a 16-yard screen pass to Ricky Williams. Then, Williams bulled in from the 1.

Williams' string of 100-yard rushing games ended at five when he was held to 54 yards on 21 carries by a defense ranked 30th against the run. But Williams caught a career-best nine passes for 92 yards.

Giants 24, Eagles 7

The Giants (6-2) posted their eighth straight win over the Eagles (5-4), who had won four of their previous five games. The win was only the Giants' third in 12 games after a bye week and was built on a stingy defense and the rushing of rookie Ron Dayne.

Dayne ran for 93 yards and a touchdown, and the hosts limited Philadelphia to 192 yards while holding the ball for 43:41.

Steelers 9, Ravens 6

The host Ravens (5-4) still can't find the end zone. They didn't do so at all in October and have lost three games in a row.

Hines Ward made a leaping 45-yard touchdown catch, and Kris Brown kicked a 24-yard field goal after missing an extra point for Pittsburgh (5-3). The Steelers, coming off two straight shutouts, allowed a pair of first-half field goals by Matt Stover, who has scored the Ravens' last 46 points. The Steelers have not yielded a touchdown in 16 successive quarters.

Bengals 12, Browns 3

Corey Dillon wasn't exactly slumping with 137 yards and a touchdown this week. But after setting an NFL record with 278 yards rushing a week ago, he got what he needed.

The Bengals (2-6), who hadn't scored in any of their first three road games, did just enough to send Cleveland (2-7) to its sixth straight loss.

Dillon scored on a 1-yard run in the second quarter, Neil Rackers kicked a 39-yard field goal in the third, and the Bengals were credited with a safety in the fourth when the Browns were penalized for holding in their end zone.