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Week 5

Rams just keep getting better offensively

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Latest: Tuesday October 03, 2000 11:18 AM

  Kurt Warner Kurt Warner continues to outwit opposing defenses, throwing for 390 yards in only three quarters of work. AP

By Jon A. Dolezar, CNNSI.com

ATLANTA -- How much more can we fawn over the Rams' offense?

Perhaps bibs should be mandatory for coaches breaking down game film on the Rams, as they are sure to drool all over themselves when they realize how many different ways St. Louis can beat you on offense.

St. Louis put up 614 yards and 57 points Sunday against a defense that was ranked 11th coming in with a 293.5 average by its opponents. The Chargers were ranked 12th in total defense for the 1999 season and finished first in that category in 1998.

So it's not like the Rams were facing a bunch of slouches.

But Kurt Warner threw his second career "perfect game" completing 24 of 30 passes for 390 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions, giving him the maximum single-game quarterback rating of 158.3 for the second time in his career. Warner is now 448 of 675 for 6,339 yards, 55 touchdowns and 20 interceptions in his 22 games in the NFL. His career passer rating is more than 12 points higher than Steve Young's career rating of 96.8, but Warner is still 825 attempts short of the 1,500 career attempts needed to qualify for the career list. The Rams do throw the ball a lot, but Warner will need to keep up his insane numbers for about another two seasons before he has the attempts needed to qualify for the list.

Here is the complete rundown of Week 5 action:

Week 5 NFL Recap
 
Titans 28 (3-1), Giants 14 (3-2)
Review Key Stat
Game Summary and
Game Recap
18: Rushing yards for the Giants, who had been leading the league with an average of 163.8 yards.
Player of the Game
Steve McNair, QB, Tennessee: Completed 24-of-37 passes for 297 yards and three touchdowns.
CNNSI.com's Breakdown
The Titans continued to be awesome at Adelphia by jumping out early on the Giants and then holding on for their record 10th consecutive win to open a new stadium. By getting out to a 21-0 halftime lead, Tennessee eliminated New York's strong running attack, forcing Kerry Collins to throw 37 times. Frank Wycheck caught five passes for 43 yards and two touchdowns while Derrick Mason led the Titans with six catches for 103 yards and a touchdown.
 
Rams 57 (5-0), Chargers 31 (0-5)
Review Key Stat
Game Summary and
Game Recap
72.12: Kurt Warner's completion percentage after five games (119 of 165) which would best Ken Anderson's 1982 record of 70.55 (218 of 309).
Player of the Game
Kurt Warner, QB, St. Louis: Completed 24-of-30 for 390 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions.
CNNSI.com's Breakdown
Warner continues his assault on the record books, as he has 1,947 yards and 14 touchdowns through five games -- putting him on pace for 6,230 yards and 45 touchdowns. Three players had more than 100 yards receiving for the Rams with Isaac Bruce leading the way with nine catches for 167 yards and two touchdowns, putting him on pace for a record 1,932-yard season. The Rams have to be concerned about their defense which allowed Chargers third-stringer Jim Harbaugh to pass for 350 yards and two touchdowns. St. Louis gained 614 yards to tie for the 12th-best performance in NFL history and become the first team to gain more than 600 yards in a non-overtime game since the Cincinnati Bengals totaled 621 yards against the Jets on Dec. 21, 1986.
 
Ravens 12 (4-1), Browns 0 (2-3)
Review Key Stat
Game Summary and
Game Recap
1.8: Yards per carry for the Browns who were held to only 23 rushing yards on 13 carries.
Player of the Game
Matt Stover, K, Baltimore: Hit 4-of-5 field goals, including a 45-yarder in the first and a 44-yarder in the third, to better his season numbers to 13-of-15 on field-goal attempts.
CNNSI.com's Breakdown
The old Browns played old Browns football (i.e. the Jim Brown-era Browns) in beating the new Browns featuring Courtney Brown at Cleveland Browns Stadium on Sunday. Baltimore beat Cleveland with solid field-goal kicking and excellent defense. The Ravens limited the Browns to 11 first downs and 230 total yards, picking off Tim Couch and recovering one fumble. Ray Lewis led the charge for Baltimore with six tackles and an interception and veteran safety Rod Woodson made five tackles, picked off a pass and recovered a fumble. Baltimore became the first team since the 1985 Bears to record consecutive shutouts. The Ravens blanked the Bengals 37-0 last Sunday, while the '85 Bears shut out the Cowboys 44-0 and the Falcons 36-0 in Weeks 11 and 12 of the '85 season. The 4-1 Ravens are now two full games ahead of the rival Jaguars in the AFC Central.
 
Steelers 24 (1-3), Jaguars 13 (2-3)
Review Key Stat
Game Summary and
Game Recap
7: Sacks allowed by the Jaguars, who have now surrendered 24 in five games.
Player of the Game
Jerome Bettis, RB, Pittsburgh: Came close to his second 100-yard game of the season, carrying 28 times for 97 yards and two touchdowns, giving him 315 yards and four touchdowns in 2000.
CNNSI.com's Breakdown
The Steelers pulled the big upset in Jacksonville by harassing Mark Brunell into poor decisions and mistakes. Brunell completed only 15-of-32 passes for 137 yards, with one interception and one fumble. The difference between this year's struggling Jaguars and Jacksonville's AFC Central jugernaut of years past is clearly the severely depleted offensive line. With Leon Searcy out for the year, Tony Boselli still coming back from knee surgery and Ben Coleman gone via free agency in the offseason, the Jaguars haven't been able to keep pressure away from a hobbled Brunell. The Steelers held Jimmy Smith to only two catches for 20 yards, well below his season average of nine catches for 129 yards. The loss was only the Jaguars' sixth in their past 23 division games and ended a three-game winning streak against the Steelers.
 
Cowboys 16 (2-3), Panthers 13 (1-3) OT
Review Key Stat
Game Summary and
Game Recap
5: Fumbles by the Panthers, who lost two of the five.
Player of the Game
Emmitt Smith, RB, Dallas: Ran for a season-high 132 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries.
CNNSI.com's Breakdown
With Troy Aikman having a mediocre outing, Smith picked up the slack and ran the Cowboys back into the win column. Dallas kept the ball for 36:03 en route to 173 rushing yards. Aikman completed 15-of-23 passes, but only threw for 131 yards and was picked off twice. James McKnight was the Cowboys' leading receiver with three catches for 37 yards, showing again how much Dallas misses the big-play ability of the retired Michael Irvin and the injured Joey Galloway.
 
Vikings 31 (4-0), Lions (3-2)
Review Key Stat
Game Summary and
Game Recap
.182: Lions' third-down conversion percentage (2 of 11).
Player of the Game
Randy Moss, WR, Minnesota: Had season-highs in catches, yards and touchdowns, with seven grabs for 168 yards and three scores, giving him 32 touchdown catches in 36 games.
CNNSI.com's Breakdown
Detroit moved the ball effectively against the Vikings, gaining 355 yards and getting 27 first downs. The Lions finally got a great game on the ground from James Stewart, but it wasn't enough to beat the Vikings' balanced attack. Minnesota gained 439 yards (261 passing, 176 rushing) to offset Stewart's 123-yard game. The Lions shut down the Vikings' passing game outside of Moss, holding the rest of the team to 10 catches for 101 yards. But when Moss goes off, it's hard to beat the Vikings no matter what you do defensively.
 
Colts 18 (3-1), Bills 16 (2-2)
Review Key Stat
Game Summary and
Game Recap
35:59: Time of possession by the Bills, who outrushed the Colts 170-81.
Player of the Game
Mike Vanderjagt, K, Indianapolis: Hit the game-winning 45-yard field goal, making him 6-of-7 on the season in field-goal attempts.
CNNSI.com's Breakdown
The Colts didn't play nearly as well as they did in thrashing the Jaguars 43-14 on Monday, but the strong, accurate leg of Vanderjagt pulled out the clutch road win. Eric Moulds led the Bills with nine catches for 112 yards and one touchdown. Buffalo held Marvin Harrison to three catches for 45 yards and Edgerrin James to only 60 yards on 19 carries. But the Bills committed eight penalties and allowed four sacks to enable to Colts to pull out the win despite their offensive ineptitude.
 
49ers 27 (2-3), Cardinals 20 (1-3)
Review Key Stat
Game Summary and
Game Recap
4: Fumbles by the Cardinals, who lost two of the four.
Player of the Game
Jeff Garcia, QB, San Francisco: Completed 22-of-33 for 220 yards and one touchdown, and ran six times for 36 yards.
CNNSI.com's Breakdown
The 49ers find themselves with a surprising two-game winning streak after holding off a late comeback attempt from Jake Plummer . The Cardinals outgained the 49ers 365-345 but converted only 3-of-13 third-down situations compared to 7 of 16 on third downs for the 49ers. Michael Pittman carried 11 times for 72 yards and caught six passes for 72 yards, but San Francisco kept him out of the end zone. Charlie Garner didn't have another 200-yard game, but he did have 21 carries for 77 yards and one touchdown.
 
Patriots 28 (3-1), Broncos 19 (2-2)
Review Key Stat
Game Summary and
Game Recap
91: Yards by which the Broncos (405) outgained the Patriots (314).
Player of the Game
Drew Bledsoe, QB, New England: Completed 18-of-27 for a season-high 271 yards and four touchdowns.
CNNSI.com's Breakdown
The Patriots won in Denver for the first time since 1968 by holding the Broncos to 79 yards rushing, barely half of their 156.8-yard average. New England only ran for 54 yards, but it has been struggling on the ground all season, coming in with an average of 86.8 yards per game. Bledsoe had his best outing since throwing for 331 yards against the Eagles in Week 15 last season, and Troy Brown led the way for Pats receivers with six catches for 124 yards and two touchdowns. Brian Griese threw for 361 yards, but mostly after the Broncos had fallen behind and taken their rushing attack out of the game. Rod Smith caught 13 passes for 160 yards in the losing effort, giving him 38 catches for 562 yards in five games.
 
Bears 27 (1-4), Packers 24 (2-3)
Review Key Stat
Game Summary and
Game Recap
134: Advantage in rushing yards for the Bears (178) over the Packers (44).
Player of the Game
Marcus Robinson, WR, Chicago: Caught two passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns (68 yards, 58 yards).
CNNSI.com's Breakdown
Once one of the toughest places to play, Lambeau Field is now becoming an easy place to get a road win. The Packers won 29 straight at home (including playoff games) from Week 3 in 1995 until Week 5 in 1998, but since then have gone only 11-6 at home including losses in five of their past eight. Cade McNown threw only 20 passes but completed 11 of them for 203 yards and two touchdowns. Brett Favre threw for 333 yards and three touchdowns, but two incompletions in the final 16 seconds -- including a drop by rookie tight end Bubba Franks on third down -- dashed the Packers' comeback hopes.
 
Dolphins 31 (4-1), Bengals 16 (0-4)
Review Key Stat
Game Summary and
Game Recap
7.6: Points per game allowed by the Dolphins defense, while the Bengals are now averaging 5.75 points on offense after their 16-point "explosion" against Miami.
Player of the Game
Oronde Gadsden, WR, Miami: Caught six passes for 73 yards and two touchdowns.
CNNSI.com's Breakdown
The first quarter of the Dick LeBeau era went well. Then the next three quarters looked an awful lot like the 12 quarters the Bengals played under Bruce Coslet this season. After holding a 13-0 lead deep into the second quarter, the Bengals were outscored 31-0 over the next 18:35. The turning point in the game was Jason Taylor's 29-yard fumble return for a touchdown at the close of the first half that cut the Bengals' lead to 13-10. Jay Fiedler wasn't spectacular, but was efficient, completing 14-of-21 passes for 155 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Safety Brian Walker stepped up and made 10 tackles with Zach Thomas sitting out with sore ankle. Cincinnati played a sloppy game, committing 10 penalties for 123 yards.
 
Redskins 20 (3-2), Buccaneers 17 (3-2) OT
Review Key Stat
Game Summary and
Game Recap
8: Sacks by Redskins defensive end Marco Coleman in five games, besting his previous career high of seven set last season and in 1995.
Player of the Game
Stephen Davis, RB, Washington: Carried 28 times for a season-high 141 yards and one touchdown.
CNNSI.com's Breakdown
Deion Sanders has a knack for making the big play at the right time. Well, the flubbed punt return off the facemask against the Cowboys notwithstanding. Sanders put his early-season struggles behind with a 57-yard punt return in overtime to set up Michael Husted's game-winning field goal. The Redskins limited Mike Alstott and Warrick Dunn to a combined 49 yards on 25 carries, while the Bucs had been averaging 133.8 yards on the ground. LaVar Arrington played the best game of his young career recording five tackles and his first career sack. Washington takes it two-game winning streak on the road next week for a game against the Eagles, while the Buccaneers try to halt their two-game skid with a tough Monday night divisional matchup at 4-0 Minnesota.
 
Eagles 38 (3-2), Falcons 10 (2-3)
Review Key Stat
Game Summary and
Game Recap
302: Yards by which the Eagles (502) outgained the Falcons (200).
Player of the Game
Brian Mitchell, RB/KR, Philadelphia: Carried twice for 105 yards and a touchdown, and had an 89-yard punt return for a touchdown that tied him with Eric Metcalf at for the most career return touchdowns.
CNNSI.com's Breakdown
Dan Reeves said he was "embarrassed" by his team's performance. He might as well throw in humiliated, mortified and ashamed with how poorly the Falcons played. Donovan McNabb threw for a career high 311 yards and two touchdowns on 30-of-44 passing. Duce Staley was slowed to only 28 yards on 11 carries, but Mitchell broke lose for the long touchdown run to pad his stats and McNabb carried seven times for 57 yards. Philadelphia averaged 7.5 yards per rush to only 3.4 for Atlanta, as Jamal Anderson gained only 47 yards on 19 carries. Adding to the Falcons' woes, Chris Chandler played his worst game of the season, completing 14 of 34 (41.2 percent completion percentage) for 151 yards and an interception. In addition to tying Metcalf's return touchdowns record, Michell closed to within 47 yards of Marcus Allen for fifth on the all-time yardage list with 17,648. Mitchell needs 96 punt return yards to pass Dave Meggett for the all-time lead with 3,708.
 
Chiefs 24 (3-2), Seahawks 17 (2-3)
Review Key Stat
Game Summary and
Game Recap
136: Rushing yards for the Chiefs, surpassing their season average of 75.5 by 60 yards.
Player of the Game
Derrick Alexander, WR, Kansas City: Caught five passes for 153 yards and one touchdown.
CNNSI.com's Breakdown
Elvis Grbac and Alexander combined on the most important play of the young season for the Chiefs, a 73-yard hookup in the third quarter that set up a 17-yard scoring pass care of the same duo. Those two key plays ignited the struggling Chiefs on a comeback from a 17-7 third-quarter deficit. Eric Hicks led a strong defensive effort for the Chiefs, recording three of the team's six sacks of Jon Kitna. Hicks is now leading the AFC with seven sacks on the season, and is second in the NFL behind Washington's Marco Coleman who has eight. Seattle managed only 100 net passing yards, with Kitna completing 17 of 28 for 140 yards, one touchdown and one interception, but losing 40 yards on the six sacks. The Chiefs are right back in the AFC West race after winning three consecutive division games following their disappointing 0-2 start. Kansas City takes Week 6 off before hosting the archrival Raiders on Oct. 15.

 
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