I think there was this premonition that Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner would do something special as his team ventured to face the Jacksonville Jaguars. What the definition of “special” will obviously be water-cooler discussion, but nonetheless, Warner rebounded from his last start as he broke a NFL record for pass completion percentage (92.3%), leading Arizona to a convincing 31-17 win over Jacksonville at Jacksonville Stadium.
The Jaguars were in deep doo-doo as they trailed 24-3 at halftime – the largest first-half deficit in team history; it didn’t help matters that the game was blacked out locally and the facility was only half-full.
The first quarter was a typical opening frame; the Cardinals started the scoring with a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Tim Hightower, giving Arizona an early 7-0 lead. a 30-yard field goal by Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee narrowed the gap to 7-3; however, Cardinals kicker Neil Rackers responded with a 45-yarder himself, increasing Arizona’s lead to 10-3 with 3 ticks left on the clock in the opening quarter.
But then Warner and Co. would catch fire. Defense would start the Cardinals’ offensive onslaught to begin the second quarter as Antrel Rolle would return a blocked Scobee FG 83 yards for the score, increasing the Cards’ margin to 17-3; 10 and one-half minutes later, Warner would toss a 5-yard TD pass to RB Jason Wright, increasing Arizona’s lead to 24-3 at the 55 second mark of the first half.
Warner would throw another TD pass, this one to Larry Fitzgerald, to increase the Cards’ lead – one which they would not relinquish – to 31-3 with 5:28 remaining in the period. Two late TD passes by Jaguars QB David Garrard – one each to tight end Marcedes Lewis and WR Mike Sims-Walker – would complete the scoring.
As previously mentioned, Warner, in setting a NFL record for pass completion percentage, went 24-of-26 for 243 yards and 2 TD’s while Garrard went 23-of-43 for 282 yards with 2 TD’s and an interception. Tim Hightower led all Cardinals rushers with 72 yards and a TD with Beanie Wells carrying the ball 7 times for 44 yards while Maurice Jones-Drew led the Jaguars’ rushing attack with 66 yards on 13 carries.
Steve Breaston led all Arizona receivers with 5 receptions for 83 yards while Anquan Boldin caught 8 for 69 yards; Sims-Walker led Jacksonville’s receivers with 6 receptions for 106 yards and a score while WR Torry Holt caught 6 passes for 65 yards. Lewis also caught 6 passes but for 62 yards and a score.
Arizona (1-1) returns home to Glendale, AZ where they will face the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night while Jacksonville (0-2) will attempt to get their first win of the season when they play the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium next Sunday.