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NFL WEEK 3 | ST. LOUIS 41, SAN FRANCISCO 24

Easy Way Not the Rams' Way

September 18, 2000|From Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — Kurt Warner's high interception total hasn't cost the St. Louis Rams--yet.

Warner threw two touchdown passes and had two passes intercepted in a 41-24 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, giving him six in each category. Last year he had 41 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions.

"I hate to see them, but we're 3-0 and that's all that matters and I've got to put them behind me," Warner said. "Those are things I go back and study."

Because of his inaccuracy, the Rams (3-0) had to do it the hard way, just as they did in their previous two games.

On Sunday, they won a franchise-record 13th in a row at home, exceeded 30 points for an NFL-record ninth consecutive game and beat the 49ers (0-3) for the third consecutive time after losing 17 previous times in the series.

That it came against a downtrodden team with the league's worst defense, and wasn't secured until Marshall Faulk made it 34-24 on a four-yard run with about eight minutes to play, made it less impressive.

"If this is what it takes to win games, get used to it," said Faulk, whose third score came on a one-yard run with 1:42 left.

Jeff Garcia completed 21 of 34 passes for 290 yards, with three touchdown passes and two interceptions. One play after Warner's pass was intercepted by Winfred Tubbs on the Rams' first snap of the game, Garcia hit Fred Beasley for a 29-yard score.

He also connected with Charlie Garner for a 20-yard scoring play and cut the gap to 27-24 on a 12-yard touchdown to Terrell Owens early in the fourth quarter.

Warner completed 23 of 34 passes for 394 yards, giving him 300-plus yards all three games. The Rams had 529 yards of total offense.

Isaac Bruce caught eight passes for 188 yards, including a 78-yard bomb on the first play of a drive to tie the score, 17-17, with 1:53 to play in the first half.

Kick returner Tony Horne, subbing for injured Ricky Proehl, had an 18-yard touchdown catch on his first career reception.

Faulk had his 22nd career 100-yard rushing game, gaining 134 yards in 25 carries. His one-yard run midway through the third quarter gave the Rams their first lead, 24-17.

Garcia completed his first 10 passes for 113 yards as the 49ers took early leads of 10-3 and 17-10. He was perfect until throwing incomplete in the end zone with 10:48 to play in the second quarter.

Coach Steve Mariucci said there's no danger of another quarterback controversy.

"You guys want to churn that up again, huh?" he told reporters. "Jeff will be our starting quarterback next week."

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