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Rams Pointing Toward Record

October 16, 2000|From Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — Marshall Faulk rushed for 208 yards, caught seven passes for 78 more, scored a touchdown and made two of the Rams' record-setting four two-point conversions in a 45-29 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

"Incredible," Ram Coach Mike Martz said of Faulk, who has 1,083 yards from scrimmage and is on a pace for 2,888 yards. That would eclipse the NFL-record 2,429 total yards he had in 1999.

The Rams amassed 529 total yards against the Falcons and surpassed 30 points for a record 12th consecutive game.

The Rams, who have won a franchise-record 15 consecutive home games, are averaging 43.7 points and are on a pace for 699. The record is 556, set by the Minnesota Vikings in 1998.

Ram quarterback Kurt Warner had another strong game, completing 24 of 40 passes for 313 yards, including touchdown passes to Tony Horne, Az-Zahir Hakim and Robert Holcombe. Warner had one pass intercepted.

It was Warner's sixth consecutive 300-yard passing game, tying the NFL record set by San Francisco's Steve Young in 1998.

Warner continues to pile up incredible numbers. He has now passed for 2,260 yards, easily the best six-game start in NFL history.

His quarterback rating actually dropped to 117.5, still ahead of the record 112.8 set by Young in 1994.

It was another frustrating day for the Falcons (2-5), despite their biggest point output since scoring 36 in a season-opening victory over San Francisco.

The Falcons scored three touchdowns in the first half, but only one in the second, on a 16-yard pass from Chris Chandler to Tim Dwight.

Chandler completed 18 of 30 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns, a 16-yard pass to Terance Mathis in the first quarter and another 16-yard pass to Dwight in the fourth. He was sacked three times and had a pass intercepted at the Ram three.

Jamal Anderson gained 64 yards in 14 carries and scored a touchdown for the Falcons.

The turning point in the game came near the end of the first half.

With the score tied, 21-21, the Rams--with no replacement for injured kicker Jeff Wilkins--faced a fourth and 15 at the Atlanta 30.

Warner, under a heavy blitz, passed to Hakim at about the 12. Hakim eluded the grasp of safety Ronnie Bradford and waltzed in for the score.

"It was huge," Falcon Coach Dan Reeves said. "You've got fourth and 15 and whatever it was and all you got to do is make the tackle, and we don't make the tackle."

The Falcons scored more points (14) in the game's first 4:46 than they did in either of their previous two games.

But the second half was all Faulk. He gained 139 rushing yards and caught four passes for 43 yards in the final two quarters.

The Rams' four two-point conversions surpassed the record of three by Baltimore in 1996 and Pittsburgh in 1998.

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