Final

Cardinals 31

(1-1, 1-0 away)

Jaguars 17

(0-2, 0-1 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, September 20, 2009

EverBank Field, Jacksonville, FL 

1 2 3 4 T
ARI 10 14 7 031
JAX 3 0 7 717

Top Performers

Passing: D. Garrard (JAX) - 282 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: T. Hightower (ARI) - 15 CAR, 72 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: M. Sims-Walker (JAX) - 6 REC, 106 YDS, 1 TD

Warner breaks NFL's single-game record for completion percentage in win

Associated Press

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- With a huge lead, an NFL record and a sore right shoulder, Kurt Warner headed to the bench late in the third quarter against Jacksonville.

He never expected he might have to re-enter the game.

Why Wait For Third Down?

Arizona QB Kurt Warner took care of the Jaguars on early downs. He made a whopping 12 of 14 passing first downs on first or second down.

Warner by down
1st/2nd Down 3rd/4th Down
Cmp-Att 20-21 4-5
Yds 215 28
TD-Int 2-0 0-0
Passer rtg 141.1 90.0

Warner completed his first 15 passes and broke the NFL's single-game record for completion percentage, and the Arizona Cardinals dominated the Jaguars in a 31-17 victory Sunday.

"Kurt's found the fountain of youth somewhere," teammate Larry Fitzgerald said. "I don't know where it is, but we're blessed to have his services. He played error-free football to put our offense in a great position. When he's back there in that kind of rhythm, it's hard to deal with him."

Jacksonville trailed 24-3 after two quarters -- the largest halftime deficit at home in team history -- and was down 28 points before mounting a mild comeback.

The only good news for the Jaguars (0-2)? Hardly anyone in Jacksonville saw it. The game was blacked out on local television, and the stands were half full.

Fast Facts

• Kurt Warner set the NFL record for completion percentage in a game. He completed his first 15 passes and finished 24 of 26 (92.3 percent) with 243 yards and two touchdowns.

• The Cardinals, which had been 0-5 in the Eastern time zone in 2008, scored 31 of game's first 34 points.

• The Jaguars start 0-2 for the second straight season.

• Jacksonville trailed 24-3 after two quarters -- the largest halftime deficit at home in team history.

• Rapid Reaction

-- ESPN Stats & Information

They missed Warner put on quite a show for Arizona (1-1). He was 24 of 26 passing for 243 yards, with two touchdowns, no turnovers and no sacks. He was much sharper than he was last week, when he threw two interceptions and was sacked three times.

"It was nice the way I played last week to come back and have this kind of game," Warner said.

Warner tied Jake Plummer's franchise record by opening the game with 15 consecutive completions. By completing 92.3 percent of his passes, he broke the previous NFL record set by Vinny Testaverde in 1993. Testaverde, playing for Cleveland, completed 21 of 23 passes against the Los Angeles Rams.

"We didn't let nothing go over the top," Jaguars cornerback Rashean Mathis said. "If he would hit 20 balls deep, then that's something we don't want to be a part of. But we wanted him to check the ball down. We just have to tackle better."

Warner hooked up with Jason Wright for a 5-yard score late in first half, then found Larry Fitzgerald for a 22-yarder to make it 31-3 late in the third.

Not wanting to risk injury, coach Ken Whisenhunt replaced Warner with former first-round draft pick Matt Leinart. But Leinart struggled, and Jacksonville rallied.

David Garrard found Marcedes Lewis for a touchdown on third-and-long, then hooked up with Mike Sims-Walker for a score on a fourth-down play that made it 31-17.

With the Jaguars driving, Warner started getting ready. But Garrard's fourth-down pass into the end zone bounced off Nate Hughes' shoulder pads.

"I just missed it," Hughes said, holding back tears. "I saw it. I just missed it. I can't even explain it. Very disappointed. I was pretty much hoping to get another chance the next drive, just get another shot."

The Cards finally celebrated after Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie intercepted Garrard's pass with 2:25 to play.

"Obviously, we weren't making the plays necessary to continue drives," Garrard said. "We can't keep shooting ourselves in the foot. We were the ones pretty much stopping ourselves."

Jacksonville's biggest problem might have been a questionable non-call. Officials didn't whistle pass interference on Adrian Wilson in the second quarter. Wilson hit Torry Holt just before Garrard's third-down pass got there, but no flags were thrown.

So instead of Jacksonville getting a first down, Josh Scobee lined up for a 46-yard field goal attempt that would have cut the deficit to 10-6. Calais Campbell blocked the kick, and Antrel Rolle scooped up the loose ball and returned it 83 yards for a touchdown and a 17-3 lead.

"Once I had the ball in my hands, I knew I could take it the distance," Rolle said.

It wasn't all good for Rolle. He had one of nine fumbles in a sloppy game. Arizona had five of them -- all in the first half.

Maybe it was the heat and humidity or just East Coast jitters. After all, the Cards went 0-5 on the East Coast in the 2008 regular season.

"This was a good win for us, especially a 1 o'clock game on the East Coast, which is something that hasn't been done in a long time," Whisenhunt said. "I know there were a lot of crazy plays, but I like the way our team responded on both sides of the ball."

Warner barely got touched, and the one time he did, the play was negated because of an offsides penalty.

The Jaguars were even more inept on offense -- at least until they hit desperation mode. Rookie tackles Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton struggled again. Sims-Walker caught six passes for 106 yards. Maurice Jones-Drew ran for 66 yards. Garrard was 23 of 43 for 282 yards.

But he was sacked four times and fumbled three times, and the Jags had three turnovers and eight penalties.

"As an offense, you can't sputter like that," Jones-Drew said. "That's what we did. We have to find a way. It comes down to us manning up and assuming the blame and looking in the mirror and see what you have to do better as a man to change."

Game notes


Jaguars CB Derek Cox (concussion) and WR Troy Williamson (shoulder) left the game and did not return. Cards RT Levi Brown left with a sprained left ankle, but returned. ... Cards rookie RB Beanie Wells had two of the nine fumbles. ... Jacksonville's worst halftime deficit came on Dec. 17, 1995, at Detroit. The Jags trailed 27-0.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
ARI
JAX
1st Downs2218
Passing 1st downs
1513
Rushing 1st downs
74
1st downs from penalties
01
3rd down efficiency
2-96-16
4th down efficiency
1-11-2
Total Plays6067
Total Yards383367
Yards per play6.45.5
Total Drives1111
Passing265275
Comp-Att
27-3223-43
Yards per pass
8.35.9
Interceptions thrown
01
Sacks-Yards Lost
0-04-7
Rushing11892
Rushing Attempts
2820
Yards per rush
4.24.6
Red Zone (Made-Att)2-21-2
Penalties7-588-50
Turnovers23
Fumbles lost
22
Interceptions thrown
01
Defensive / Special Teams TDs10
Possession31:2128:39

Passing Leaders

ARIC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Warner24/262439.3200-0
Leinart3/6223.7000-0
JAXC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Garrard23/432826.6214-7

Rushing Leaders

ARICARYDSAVGTDLG
Hightower15724.8117
Wells7446.3017
JAXCARYDSAVGTDLG
Jones-Drew13665.1036
Garrard4276.8013

Receiving Leaders

ARIRECYDSAVGTDLG
Breaston58316.6022
Boldin8698.6019
JAXRECYDSAVGTDLG
Sims-Walker610617.7134
Holt66510.8019

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERARIJAX
ariTD8:10Tim Hightower 1 Yard Run (Neil Rackers Kick is Good)
Drive info: 11 plays, 75 yds, 6:53
70
jaxFG4:45Josh Scobee 30 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 7 plays, 62 yds, 3:26
73
ariFG0:03Neil Rackers 45 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 8 plays, 53 yds, 4:38
103
SECOND QUARTERARIJAX
ariTD11:51Antrel Rolle 83 Yard Return of Blocked Field Goal (Neil Rackers Kick is Good)
Drive info: 4 plays, -2 yds, 1:33
173
ariTD1:00Jason Wright 5 Yard Pass From Kurt Warner (Neil Rackers Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 68 yds, 1:18
243
THIRD QUARTERARIJAX
ariTD5:35Larry Fitzgerald 22 Yard Pass From Kurt Warner (Neil Rackers Kick is Good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 38 yds, 2:04
313
jaxTD1:42Marcedes Lewis 25 Yard Pass From David Garrard (Josh Scobee Kick is Good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 64 yds, 3:57
3110
FOURTH QUARTERARIJAX
jaxTD7:19Mike Sims-Walker 19 Yard Pass From David Garrard (Josh Scobee Kick is Good)
Drive info: 14 plays, 85 yds, 5:09
3117