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Sack, penalty keep Cardinals, Warner from topping Rams

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Any last minute drive to win a game would be
great. For Kurt Warner, to do it against the St. Louis Rams would
have been perfect.

Warner and his Arizona Cardinals fell a few yards shy, though,
doomed by Adam Archuleta's sack and a false start penalty as time
ran out in the Rams' 17-12 victory Sunday.

"A perfect scenario, a perfect place to be in," Warner said.
"But then a lot of times it's more disappointing when you don't
get it done in a situation like that."

Warner, 29-for-42 for 327 yards in his first game against the
St. Louis franchise he directed to two Super Bowls and one NFL
crown, drove the Arizona Cardinals to the St. Louis 5 in the final
seconds.

But Archuleta, playing on the field where he was a college star
for Arizona State, burst through for a sack.

"They did a good job coming down the field," Archuleta said,
"and we needed that play."

The Cardinals scrambled into formation for another play, but a
flag was thrown against tackle Leonard Davis, and under NFL rules
the clock kept running to end the game. Davis was getting an
intravenous injection of fluids after the game and wasn't
available.

"There's no finger pointing or anything like that," wide
receiver Bryant Johnson said. "We just have to execute on
offense."

Marc Bulger directed touchdown drives on St. Louis' first
possession of each half and the Cardinals advanced inside the Rams
12 four times without a touchdown. Sacks spoiled three of the
threats.

"We're trying to establish our character and identity,"
Archuleta said, "and this was a great game for us, especially for
the defense."

Coach Mike Martz, offensive-minded to say the least, praised his
defense.

"We have come a long way defensively," he said. "We've got a
ways to go, but our front seven is terrific."

Bulger completed 18 of 29 passes for 216 yards, including a
19-yard touchdown pass to Torry Holt in the first quarter. He was
intercepted once.

"We got the numbers last week and we lost," Bulger said.
"This week we didn't really get the numbers but we won. I'm not
going to sit here and pick apart stats. ... If we win, that's all I
care about."

Steven Jackson rushed for 93 yards on 18 carries, including a
seven-yard TD that was the difference in the game.

Arizona got the ball on its 14 with 1:53 to play and no
timeouts. Warner threw passes to Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin
to get the ball to the 5. But Archeleta burst through to grab
Warner for a 5-yard loss, then Davis had a false start as the clock
ran out.

Boldin caught eight passes for 119 yards. With rookie J.J.
Arrington out with illness, Marcel Shipp started at running back
for Arizona and gained 54 yards in 12 carries. He also caught five
passes for 39 yards.

Arizona had eight penalties for 72 yards, all on its final four
possessions.

"They always say that holding can be called on every play,"
Warner said, "and we had a stretch there when I think it was."

Neil Rackers kicked field goals of 29, 26, 48 and 35 yards for
the Cardinals. In two games, Arizona's offense has one touchdown
and six field goals.

"It's frustrating for the whole team," coach Dennis Green said
of the red-zone problems, "because everything is affected by it."

Down 17-9, Arizona drove to the Rams' 8 in the final quarter.
But on second-and-9, Ryan Pickett sacked Warner and forced Rackers'
35-yarder that cut the lead to 17-12.

The Rams took the opening kickoff and went 80 yards in seven
plays. Jackson started the drive with runs of 24 and 15 yards.
Bulger threw over the middle to Kevin Curtis for 29 yards to the
Arizona 19, then 19 yards to Holt and it was 7-0.

Game notes
The teams exchanged penalties on consecutive plays in the
first quarter. Leonard Little recovered Warner's fumble, then
Darnell Dockett intercepted Bulger's pass. ... With C Alex
Stepanovich playing his first game after coming back from a broken
right hand, RG Reggie Wells snapped on Arizona's shotgun
formations. ... DeJuan Groce made a brilliant interception of
Warner's long pass in the second quarter.