NFL: Warner, Cardinals soar past Seahawks 27-3
AP Sports Writer
SEATTLE — Before Seattle knew what hit it, Kurt Warner and the Arizona Cardinals were out of reach.
The defending conference champions moved into a tie for the NFC West lead as Warner completed 32 of 41 passes for 276 yards and two touchdowns in a 27-3 victory Sunday. Warner tied an NFL record for being the fastest to throw for 30,000 yards in a career and Larry Fitzgerald tied his career high with 13 receptions for 100 yards and a touchdown.
The Cardinals (3-2) led 14-0 before Seattle's offense ran its first play 12 minutes into the first quarter.
That was after a 15-play opening drive on which Warner completed all nine throws, and after the Seahawks failed to cover the ensuing pooch kickoff that set up another touchdown.
Arizona's swarming defense held Seattle (2-4), which romped 41-0 over Jacksonville last week, to 128 yards and its fewest points in a home game since 2002.
The Cardinals are tied atop the NFC West with idle San Francisco.
Seattle's bumbling day was epitomized early in the fourth quarter . As thousands began pouring out of the quiet stadium that used to provide the league's loudest home-field advantage, tight end John Carlson stumbled off the line and then had a pass from Matt Hasselbeck clang off his helmet.
Hasselbeck, who threw for four touchdown passes in his return from broken ribs last week, completed just 10 of 29 throws for 112 yards. The 34 percent completion rate was Hasselbeck's lowest since 2004, also in a loss to Arizona.
He was sacked five times behind an offensive line containing a third-string left guard and fourth-string left tackle because it was missing three injured starters.
The Seahawks' offense went three-and-out seven times against the Cardinals, who are taking fewer risks under new coordinator Bill Davis, but looked as aggressive as ever to the besieged Seahawks. Two of Seattle's brief drives totaled negative yardage.
Warner led a methodical 80-yard march to begin the game that seemed to stun Seattle. Fitzgerald jumped in front of overmatched Jordan Babineaux for the 2-yard touchdown catch.
Neil Rackers then lofted a pooch kickoff that bounced around the Seahawks 35. John Owens backed away and let the ball bounce before Arizona's Greg Toler recovered the free ball at the Seattle 23. Tim Hightower converted that gift into a 2-yard touchdown run.
Later, when Calais Campbell sped through fill-in left guard Steve Vallos and fill-in tackle Kyle Williams and nailed Hasselbeck, he fumbled. Bryan Robinson recovered at the Seahawks 23.
The first quarter ended with Seattle's renowned crowd roasting its home team. Arizona outgained Seattle 128-3 and held the ball for all but 43 seconds of the period.
Rackers converted the fumble into a 29-yard field goal, Arizona led 17-0 and cruised from there.
Fitzgerald soared above Ken Lucas, who was playing two days after burying his father in Mississippi, for a 19-yard catch that had the crowd gasping. Then Steve Breaston jumped higher than far smaller cornerback Kelly Jennings for a 16-yard touchdown pass from Warner to put Arizona up 24-3 late in the third quarter.
On the play, Warner tied Dan Marino as the fastest to reach 30,000 yards passing. They did it in their 114th career game. Peyton Manning did it in 115.
Seattle's best pass wasn't even Hasselbeck's. Jon Ryan faked a punt and shot putted a pass to the wide-open Carlson. The 42-yard gain set up the Seahawks' only score, a 28-yard field goal by Olindo Mare.