Coach Ken Whisenhunt raised a few eyebrows Saturday night by giving Warner the start against Kansas City. And the 11-year veteran threw some nice passes, directing a 78-yard touchdown drive in the Cardinals' 27-17 victory over the punchless Chiefs.
"They both conducted drives that scored, which I thought was important," said Whisenhunt, who didn't play Warner at all in last week's game against New Orleans. "On the surface, I would say they both played well. The best thing about it today is to win on the road."
Warner completed six of nine passes for 54 yards for the Cardinals (1-1) and directed a 13-play drive on his second possession, capped by rookie Tim Hightower's 4-yard touchdown run around right end.
"It's been awhile since I've played," Warner said. "Just to manage the game, to see things, to get comfortable in the pocket again, all those things. I felt very good for the limited action I got. It's always fun when you get out there."
Leinart got off to a horrible start and was almost intercepted twice. But he wound up going 7-for-11 for 62 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown pass to Steve Breaston.
"You always want to try to get a drive going and we stumbled a little bit," Leinart said. "We couldn't make some plays, myself included. I wanted to get a good drive in and we did in the second half, a nice long drive, converted on third down and got a touchdown."
Brodie Croyle directed the Chiefs (1-1) on a scoring drive on the opening possession for the second week in a row. But the offense of first-year coordinator Chan Gailey produced only three field goals for the first 59 minutes of Kansas City's first appearance in Arrowhead Stadium since losing its last nine games of 2007.
"It was good to come out two weeks in a row and get a sustained drive and some third-down conversions," Croyle said. "But we want touchdowns. We don't want field goals. We've got to eliminate the three-and-outs."
With less than 2 minutes to go, Dennis Keyes, a free agent rookie safety, intercepted a pass from Kansas City backup Tyler Thigpen and returned it 84 yards for a touchdown.
Carr, a fifth-round pick out of Grand Valley State, was practically twisted into the turf as Breaston turned a short pass into an 11-yard gain.
Flowers, a third-round choice out of Virginia Tech who's already locked down the right cornerback job vacated by the retired Ty Law, made a nice play when he broke up a long pass intended for Anquan Boldin on Arizona's first possession. But Larry Fitzgerald juked him on a first-half play that went for a 9-yard gain.
"I thought he did good," Chiefs coach Herm Edwards said. "The first play, we knew they were going to go deep on him. He's a competitive guy. It wasn't too big for him."
Flowers said he couldn't wait to get in the film room to study how he'd done.
"I felt pretty comfortable out there. I think overall I had a decent game," he said. "I can always get better."
Hightower, a rookie from Richmond, made a good argument for himself with several impressive runs.
"Tim, every time he's gotten an opportunity, has shown to be a pretty strong runner," Whisenhunt said. "I think he's got a good knack around the goal line of finding a way to get the ball in."
Nick Novak may have separated himself a bit from rookie Connor Barth in the Chiefs' battle for a job as place kicker. Novak hit field goals of 40 and 33 yards while Barth connected from 35 yards but had a 46-yarder hit the right crossbar.
Thigpen got the Chiefs' lone TD on a 14-yard TD pass to Sergio Joachim with less than 1 minute left, and Dantrell Savage ran in the 2-point conversion.
Defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey, the Chiefs' first-round draft pick who sprained a knee in the second week of camp, made his first appearance, playing one series.
Savage, a rookie free agent running back from Oklahoma State, made a bid to win another job that's up for grabs when with a tackle-breaking 45-yard kickoff return after Leinart's TD pass.