Originally created 12/03/01

Rams 35, Falcons 6



ATLANTA -- The St. Louis Rams stopped turning the ball over, and that meant trouble for the Atlanta Falcons.

Kurt Warner threw four touchdown passes, Marshall Faulk scored three times, including his 100th career TD, and the Rams rebounded for a 35-6 rout of the Falcons on Sunday.

St. Louis (9-2) was coming off a dismal 24-17 home loss to Tampa Bay on Monday night. The Rams lost three fumbles, and Warner was picked off on the final two possessions.

But this was the Falcons (6-4), a team the Rams have dominated for the last three seasons.

Warner and the league's most explosive offense were coldly efficient against Atlanta, which has been outscored 197-75 in losing five straight games to St. Louis.

Warner was 17-of-23 for 342 yards, his seventh 300-yard game this season. His career numbers against the Falcons are staggering: 83-of-127 for 1,377 yards, 15 touchdowns and just two interceptions in five games.

Faulk was on the receiving end of three touchdown passes Sunday, the last a 65-yard play that made him the 13th player in NFL history to score 100 touchdowns. He is tied with Franco Harris on the career list.

Overall, Faulk had six catches for 128 yards, including touchdowns of 19 and 9 yards. He also ran 12 times for 70 yards.

Most important, the Rams had no turnovers. They came in leading the NFL with 32 giveaways - 20 in the last four games.

This time, it was the other team that made the biggest mistake of the day. On the fourth play from scrimmage, Atlanta's Chris Chandler threw into double coverage and was picked off Dre Bly, who streaked 56 yards the other way for a touchdown.

The unusually raucous Georgia Dome crowd quickly settled back in their seats, knowing they had seen this all before.

The Falcons, who had won three in a row and four of five to become a playoff contender, actually kept the game close until halftime by holding the ball for nearly 21 minutes.

Still, the Rams had a 14-6 lead. They blew it open with two more touchdowns in the third, including Warner's 45-yard touchdown pass to Torry Holt on the third play from scrimmage.

Chandler wasn't around for the end. He was knocked down by Grant Wistrom after completing a pass on the next-to-last play of the first half, severely spraining his left ankle.

Michael Vick, the NFL's No. 1 draft pick, played most of the second half, with third-stringer Doug Johnson getting some work when the game got out of hand.

Chandler, who was 14-of-18 for 123 yards, has been plagued by injuries throughout his career. He already had missed one game and been knocked out of two others because of various ailments.

The Falcons dropped to 2-13 since the start of the 1999 season when Chandler leaves the game or doesn't play because of an injury.

Vick was 7-of-18 passing for 94 yards. He also ran six times for 52 yards.