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San Diego shuts down St. Louis

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published August 23, 2002

ST. LOUIS -- San Diego intercepted Marc Bulger twice, ending a successful preseason run by the Rams reserve quarterback, in a 31-10 victory Thursday.

The Chargers put the preseason game away with a 21-point third quarter, getting the first of three touchdowns one play after Bulger's second interception. They also shut out the Rams' starting offense in the first quarter.

The Rams, coming off three consecutive 500-point seasons, managed only 87 yards of offense and trailed 3-0 at halftime.

Kurt Warner played a few snaps into the second quarter and was 5-for-10 for 56 yards. Marshall Faulk, making his first appearance of the preseason, played three series and had one carry for 11 yards and two receptions for 7.

"I'm disappointed," Warner said. "I'm always disappointed when we don't put points on the board."

Faulk said his outing was "okay."

"I didn't do anything special," he said. "It was short but sweet."

Chargers backup Doug Flutie threw a 15-yard touchdown to Josh Norman in the third, one play after Davis Sanchez made his second interception of the preseason and returned it 25 yards.

That was the first touchdown pass of the preseason by either of the Chargers' top two quarterbacks, with Drew Brees named the starter this week.

Jesse Chatman capped an 89-yard drive with an 8-yard run, and Antuan Simmons returned a fumble by Trung Canidate 35 yards to make it 24-0 with 2:11 left in the third.

Brees played the first half and was 12-for-17 for 150 yards, but the Chargers got only three points on a 27-yard field goal by Wade Richey. He missed a 40-yarder earlier.

Flutie played the third quarter and was 4-for-4 for 84 yards and a touchdown against backups.

Bulger, who saw a lot of playing time with backup Jamie Martin sidelined by a collarbone injury, was 26-for-39 for 349 yards and two touchdowns. Against the Chargers he was 19-for-27 for 177 yards.

Bulger got several earfuls from coach Mike Martz after his first interception of the preseason, a poorly thrown ball on a rollout during the second quarter.

The Rams finally got on the scoreboard with a 28-yard field goal by Jeff Wilkins with 11:22 left.

REDSKINS TRADES: Steve Spurrier's quarterback situation got clearer as Washington traded Sage Rosenfels to Miami. The Redskins got an undisclosed 2003 draft choice. The deal leaves Spurrier with Danny Wuerffel, Shane Matthews and first-round pick Patrick Ramsey.

Rosenfels, who had fallen behind Wuerffel and Matthews, will be No. 3 behind starter Jay Fiedler and backup Ray Lucas.

The Redskins addressed their most pressing need, acquiring guard Brenden Stai for an undisclosed draft pick. Stai has started 72 consecutive games and last season was voted the top offensive lineman by his Detroit teammates. But the Lions recently signed Ray Brown and plan to start him and Tony Semple at guard.

KRAFT SURGERY: Patriots owner Robert Kraft was recovering after unscheduled heart bypass surgery. He was at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston for a checkup Wednesday when an angiogram identified a heart condition that required immediate surgery. The 61-year-old is expected to make a full recovery, the Patriots said in a statement.

GREEN TO ESPN: Former Vikings coach Dennis Green is joining ESPN as an analyst. Green will appear on ESPN News' Monday Quarterback, ESPN2's NFL 2Night and ESPN Radio. In 10 seasons with the Vikings, Green went 92-67 in the regular season and reached the NFC Championship Game twice.

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