Warner, Cardinals have owned third quarters

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Kurt Warner owned third quarters this season. The stats in the chart, provided by ESPN Stats & Information, were extreme enough to send me sifting through the Cardinals' weekly news release for corroborating evidence.

Indeed, the Cardinals were the highest-scoring NFL team in third quarters this season with 143 points, 35 more than runner-up New Orleans. That means Arizona would have finished with the most third-quarter points this season even without that 21-point third-quarter rally against the Jets in Week 4. The Cardinals scored at least six third-quarter points in every game except their 47-7 defeat at New England in Week 16, when the Patriots pitched a third-quarter shutout.

The Falcons have allowed 52 points in first quarters, 87 in second quarters, 60 in third quarters and 126 in fourth quarters this season.

Carolina was the only 2008 opponent to score at least 10 third-quarter points against the Falcons during a regular-season game. But nine of 16 Falcons opponents scored at least 10 points in the fourth quarter. Only the Lions, Chiefs and Raiders failed to score fourth-quarter points against Atlanta this season.

The Cardinals' scoring by quarters this season: 64 in the first, 117 in the second, 154 in the third and 86 in the fourth. Arizona scored at least 10 points in fourth quarters against the Jets (14), Bills (10), Cowboys (10) and Giants (10).