Warner bombardment lifts St Louis

It may be difficult to win a Super Bowl, but it is far harder to successfully defend it, and the history of the game is littered with stories of teams who have enjoyed the fruits of success one year, only to be left with a bitter taste in the mouth the following season.

It may be difficult to win a Super Bowl, but it is far harder to successfully defend it, and the history of the game is littered with stories of teams who have enjoyed the fruits of success one year, only to be left with a bitter taste in the mouth the following season.

Not so the St Louis Rams. Having emerged from obscurity to win the championship last year, they seem well placed to mount a successful assault on the summit. Their thrilling 41-20 triumph over the Atlanta Falcons in Georgia on Sunday was their fourth win in a row, and they are one of a handful of teams yet to suffer a reverse.

Despite falling behind to Jamal Anderson's three-yard touch-down run, the Rams rarely looked flustered, pulling away with ominous ease in a one-sided second half. As ever, they were inspired by their quarterback Kurt Warner who completed 12 of his 19 passes for 336 yards and four touchdowns. Warner, a former refugee from NFL Europe, surprised everyone in 1999 when he came from nowhere to spearhead the Rams' unexpected odyssey. There were suggestions that he might be a one-season wonder, but sceptics have already been silenced. After four games the former Amsterdam Admiral has amassed 10 touchdown passes and compiled more than 1,500 passing yards. If he can carry on at this pace, he will re-write the record books.

"We know we can score whenever we get the ball," he said. "We didn't get a lot of shots but we took advantage of them when we did get them." Chief beneficiary of Warner's aerial bombardment was the receiver Torry Holt, who caught three catches for 189 yards, two of them for touchdowns.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were relieved of their unbeaten record in dramatic fashion, falling 21-17 to a last-minute touchdown against the New York Jets. The Buccaneers seemed in command when Ronde Barber returned an interception 37 yards to give them a 17-6 lead. However, an inspired Jet rally saw Curtis Martin score on the ground, then the same player threw a scoring pass to Wayne Chrebet with 40 seconds remaining. They are one of only three teams - Minnesota being the other - still enjoying an unbeaten record.

The moment will have been particularly sweet for the Jets veteran quarterback Vinny Testaverde, who spent a decade toiling in vain for Tampa Bay, during which time he came to symbolise the futility of one of the NFL's most consistently unsuccessful franchises.

New York's other team, the Giants, surrendered their unbeaten record, struggling badly against the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, pre-season Super Bowl favourites, have had headaches of their own, losing their last two outings. However, a pair of touchdowns from their quarterback, Brad Johnson, ensured a 16-6 verdict, which will ease the pressure on the head coach, Norv Turner.

The San Francisco 49ers finally achieved their first win, an emphatic 41-24 rout of the dismal Dallas Cowboys. The running back Charlie Garner rushed for 201 yards, a franchise record, while the quarterback Jeff Garcia threw four touchdowns.

The Baltimore Ravens impressed with a 37-0 rout of the woeful Cincinnati Bengals. The Cincinnati quarter-back, Akili Smith, was knocked out of the game with a concussion while his counterpart and former Bengal, Jeff Blake, threw touchdown passes to Travis Taylor and Shannon Sharpe.

That was enough for the Bengals head coach, Bruce Coslett, who resigned yesterday. Dick LeBeau, the assistant head coach and defensive co-ordinator, replaces him. Cincinnati, who have won a total of seven games the past two seasons, have scored only seven points in their three losses this season.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
tech

Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download

Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff
tv

Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Arts and Entertainment
tv

Life and Style
i100

Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist

Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me
tv

Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama

Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Network Infrastructure Technical Lead - up to £45k DOE - Surrey

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Technical Architect - Surrey - £35k-£45k DOE - Permanent

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

English Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: English Teacher needed for a ...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week