Work in Sports
Warner throws for 390 yards, 4 TDs in 57-31 Rams win
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- After St. Louis had 57 points and 614 yards, Kurt Warner wanted more.
Warner threw four touchdown passes for the defending Super Bowl champions as unbeaten St. Louis defeated the winless San Diego Chargers 57-31 in another awesome display of offensive power.
Warner finished 24-of-30 for 390 yards, showing no signs of slowing down a season after winning the league and Super Bowl MVP awards. The Rams (5-0), who compiled their second-largest yardage total ever, are averaging 43.4 points.
"I've never seen anything like that," Chargers quarterback Jim Harbaugh said. "They score so fast, their defense is right back on the field."
Warner had a quarterback rating of 158.3, a perfect game under the league's complicated formula. Not good enough for Warner, who gave the offense a B-plus even though the Rams never had to punt.
"No, we got a few field goals in there," Warner said. "We've got a little more than that in us."
After complaining mildly that he threw only 19 times last week, Warner opened the game with 14 consecutive passes. He was 21-of-26 for 290 yards and three touchdowns in the first half alone and left late in the third quarter with the Rams ahead 40-17 en route to their 14th consecutive victory in the Trans World Dome.
"We knew their strength was against the run, so we were going to attack their weakness," Warner said. "Once we started moving the football and doing the things we wanted in the passing game, why stop?"
The Rams led 30-10 at the break, extending their NFL record to 11 consecutive regular-season games with 30 or more points. By then, they were well on their way to earning a week off -- a carrot dangled by head coach Mike Martz for the team's bye week if they won.
If they had lost, the Rams would have practiced Wednesday and Thursday.
"A week off is unheard of in the NFL," tight end Roland Williams said. "I've been telling some of my buddies from Cleveland and Jacksonville and Green Bay, and they were dumbfounded."
Warner threw for an NFL-record 1,557 yards the first four games. Now he's got 1,947 for five games, and he also wasn't intercepted for the first time.
Warner's backup, Trent Green, also got in on the fun. Green, in his first regular-season action since hurting his knee in an exhibition game against the Chargers last year, hooked up with Faulk on a 48-yard pass play to cap his first series.
Chargers safety Rodney Harrison's hit injured Green last year. The two met on the field before the game.
"I'm glad it's over with, finally," Harrison said. "I don't have to hear anything else about it, forever."
Isaac Bruce and Faulk each caught a pair of touchdown passes, and Torry Holt added one.
The scoring total was the Rams' best since a 49-37 victory over Minnesota in the playoffs last year. It was their highest point total in the regular season since a 59-16 victory against Atlanta on Nov. 10, 1996.
Last year, when they scored the third-highest points in NFL history, their high-water mark was 43 points against the Saints in their 11th game.
Among the big plays, Warner hit Bruce for 53 and 37 yards, Az-Zahir Hakim for 51 and Faulk for 29. Reserve running back Justin Watson had a 49-yard run in the fourth quarter and wrapped up the scoring with a 12-yard run with about three minutes to go, finishing with 102 yards on 14 late carries.
The problems for the Chargers (0-5) have been mostly an anemic offense that totaled five touchdowns the first four games. In this game, a defense that was 11th in the NFL had no chance, either.
Middle linebacker Junior Seau left with a strained left hamstring late in the first half, but the rout was already on.
Harbaugh hit Fred McCrary for 3 yards in the third quarter and Trevor Gaylor on a 62-yarder with 1:52 left. He finished 27-of-40 for 348 yards with one interception.
Leaf, who has a sprained wrist, is expected back next week against Denver.
Notes: The Rams hold the NFL yardage record with 735 on Sept. 18, 1951, against the New York Yankees in a 54-14 victory. The 614-yard performance is tied for 12th in NFL history with the Kansas City Chiefs, who did it Oct. 23, 1966, against Denver. ... The last time an NFL team had more than 600 yards was the Cincinnati Bengals with 621 on Dec. 21, 1986, against the New York Jets. The Washington Redskins had 676 yards in an overtime game against the Detroit Lions Nov. 14, 1990.