Cards notebook: Warner putting up MVP numbers - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Cards notebook: Warner putting up MVP numbers

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Posted: Monday, November 3, 2008 8:58 pm | Updated: 11:55 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Kurt Warner for MVP? "I certainly think he should be given consideration for it, absolutely," coach Ken Whisenhunt said Monday, in response to a reporter's question.

"He's playing at a high level."

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The only negative might be his poor game at the New York Jets, when he had six turnovers.

That was "one game where we as a team didn't perform very well," Whisenhunt said.

But the numbers are there:

With 2,431 passing yards, Warner is now on pace to throw for 4,862 yards on the season.

That would merely be the second-highest total in NFL history and would top the 4,830 yards he threw for in his MVP season in 2001.

Warner also is ranked No. 2 in passer rating at 104.2.

He's No. 1 in completion percentage at 69.9.

PLAYING LEINART

Matt Leinart might get some playing time in a future lopsided game, Whisenhunt indicated.

But that didn't happen on Sunday because, as the Cardinals were wrapping things up, they were in the midst of an 8-minute drive, Whisenhunt said.

"When you're in that process you're so wrapped up in that, and trying to be successful, you really don't think about that situation.

"Had it been a quick series," and the Cardinals had gotten the ball back, Leinart probably would have played.

"Then with three or four minutes left, I knew we were going to hand the ball off, so I didn't see any need to put Matt in the game just for a handoff."

INJURY UPDATE

Tackle Mike Gandy suffered an ankle injury Sunday, but Whisenhunt doesn't think it's serious.

But Ali Highsmith, a rookie linebacker who plays on special teams, suffered a knee injury. Whisenhunt expressed concern the injury is serious. Highsmith is undergoing an MRI.

The coach sounded optimistic that linebacker Travis LaBoy and tight ends Leonard Pope and Ben Patrick can return from injuries this week.

BETTER TACKLING

Whisenhunt was pleased with his team's improved tackling.

But the weeklong emphasis on tackling didn't work out as planned when rookie Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was flagged for unnecessary roughness for body-slamming a Rams player out of bounds.

Whisenhunt said the rookie told him, " e_SSLqCoach, I thought he was inbounds, and I wasn't going to let him get out of my tackle.' "

"So that (tackling) was something that was important to these guys."

Overall, "I was very pleased with the tackling.

"You could drastically see a difference in how we tackled in the game."

STAT NOTES

With 109 yards, Tim Hightower became the first Cardinals rookie to rush for 100 yards since Ronald Moore ran for 135 yards on Dec. 26, 1993.

Hightower became the first Cardinals rookie to rush for 100 yards in his first career start since Ottis Anderson rushed for 193 yards in his first start vs. Dallas on Sept. 2, 1979.

Hightower's 30-yard touchdown run was the Cardinals' longest for a score since Jake Plummer had a 34-yard touchdown run on Oct. 27, 2002 at San Francisco.

The Cardinals, a "cardiac kids" team a year ago, are a blowout group this season.

Last year, they had 12 games decided by eight or fewer points, more than any other team.

This season, they have won three games by 20-plus points. The Cardinals hadn't done that in a season since 1970.

The Cardinals and New York Giants are the only teams to have accomplished the feat in 2008.

The Cardinals are the league's highest scoring team at 29.3 points per game.

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