Sunday, November 22, 2009
Rapid Reaction: Cardinals 21, Rams 13
By Mike Sando
ST. LOUIS -- Kurt Warner's injury status will be the primary focus when I head down to the Cardinals' postgame media sessions momentarily.
Warner absorbed what the team called a "blow to the head" late in the second quarter. He stayed in the game for five additional plays as the Cardinals finished a touchdown drive. He did not return after that drive.
Backup Matt Leinart had trouble getting much going in the second half even though he inherited an offense that was running the ball effectively.
The Rams did a poor job capitalizing until it was almost too late. And when they did have a chance to force a potential tie, receiver Brandon Gibson dropped a pass in the end zone, bailing out Leinart and the Cardinals. Update: Upon further review, the pass might have been tipped.
This game illustrated Warner's value and how much ground the Rams still must make up from a talent standpoint.
Warner watched the second half from the sideline and remained in uniform. If he is not injured seriously, the Cardinals all but wrapped up the NFC West title by opening a three-game lead over the 49ers in the division. Looking down on the field as I write, Warner is holding hands with the Rams' Jonathan Wade and Keith Null as part of the postgame prayer circle.
Arizona is 7-3 for the second season in a row. The Cardinals are 5-0 on the road. They should be able to get to nine or 10 victories, which should be enough to defend their division title.