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(Sunday, November 1st)
Final Score: Carolina 34, Arizona 21
Glendale, AZ (Sports Network) - Jake Delhomme played mistake-free football while Kurt Warner turned the ball over six times, as Carolina's duo of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart ran all over Arizona in a much-needed 34-21 victory for the Panthers.
Williams and Stewart ran for 158 and 87 yards, respectively, with the latter scoring twice for the Panthers (3-4), who lost to Buffalo at home last week.
Delhomme managed the game with 90 yards and a touchdown on 7-of-14 throws before leaving the game with a chest injury in the second half. Steve Smith caught his first TD of the season, and Julius Peppers highlighted Carolina's defensive effort with an interception return for a score and a forced fumble.
Kurt Warner tied a career-high with five interceptions and also lost a fumble, matching Delhomme's six-turnover effort in the divisional playoff game last year. Warner also tossed a pair of TDs and ended with 242 yards on 27-of-46 throws for Arizona (4-3), which was coming off its third straight win, an emphatic 24-17 road victory over the Giants.
"We needed it more for the '09 Panthers more than for to bury something the '08 Panthers," Delhomme said of the victory. "We needed to come out here and do whatever we could to win. The confidence, it was good, very good."
Tim Hightower ran for 39 yards and a score on eight carries. He also caught a team-high eight passes for 57 yards in the loss.
"I've played a long time and it's a hard thing to do, come off a big win and parlay it into another good performance," said Warner. "It was such an emotional game last Sunday night. As a good team, wanting to be one of the elite teams in the league, you've got to be able to win the big games and not let it drain you mentally and emotionally where you don't come back and play up to your potential the next week."
Warner connected with Ben Patrick for a one-yard score with just over six minutes left in the third quarter. The TD cut Arizona's deficit to 28-14, but two huge turnovers in the fourth quarter ended the comeback bid.
Chris Gamble jolted the ball loose from the waiting hands of Jerheme Urban, causing the pass to get picked off by Sherrod Martin early in the fourth. John Kasay's 35-yard boot with 11:40 to play made it a three-possession game.
A good kickoff return and a 25-yard defensive pass interference penalty helped the Cardinals score quickly on Hightower's one-yard plunge.
After a three-and-out for Carolina, though, Warner was stripped by Peppers deep in his own territory.
Kasay split the uprights from 31 yards out with 2:40 left, keeping it a two- possession game, but Warner was picked off for the fifth and final time on the next possession, ending his wretched performance.
Both teams scored touchdowns on time-consuming opening drives. Five third-down conversions for Carolina extended its march, capped by Stewart's TD run on 3rd-and-2 from the Arizona six.
The Cardinals countered with an 11-play, 81-yard drive, culminated in Warner hitting rookie LaRod Stephens-Howling out of the backfield for his first career touchdown, a 14-yard catch-and-run.
On the first snap after the tying score, Williams found a gap through the right side of the line and sprinted 77 yards into the red zone. On the first play of the second quarter, Stewart punched it in from 10 yards out.
The Panthers forced two consecutive punts and went up 21-7 when Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie bit on a pump fake to open up Smith down the left sideline for a 50-yard touchdown.
Peppers extended the lead further on the next Cardinals play, anticipating a screen pass and picking it off before walking in for the 13-yard defensive score at the midway point of the second.
Arizona's final two possessions of the first half ended in interceptions.
Delhomme had thrown 13 interceptions to just four touchdown passes through the first six games of the season. He left the game in the second half after getting sandwiched between Chike Okeafor and Darnell Dockett...With three catches, Anquan Boldin passed Larry Centers' franchise record for receptions, which now sits at 537...The Cardinals defense entered the game No. 1 in the league against the run (67.5)...Williams now holds Carolina's franchise rushing mark, eclipsing the 3,336 yards DeShaun Foster amassed... Carolina fullback Brad Hoover left the game in the third quarter with an apparent injury to his right leg....Larry Fitzgerald caught six passes for 66 yards in the loss.
11/01 21:43:11 ET
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