Look who's 2--0—for the first time in 17 years. O.K., so it was only against Miami, but the Cardinals were flying on Sunday, especially receiver Anquan Boldin (above). After snagging three TD passes in a 31--10 win, Boldin allowed, "We had a pretty good game plan going." As for that once-brewing QB controversy? Forget it. Kurt Warner's the man.
It's on and full of topsy-turvy thrills in NASCAR (page 72). Meanwhile at Mizzou, Heisman candidate QB Chase Daniel (right) got stoked with a four-TD day last Saturday. Later his backup Chase Patton ran for a score, and a tight end named—well, whaddya know—Chase Coffman caught another.
Horton hears a woo-hoo! The Redskins' rookie safety got a surprise start due to injury (he said he "started sweating" when he found out) and had two picks and a fumble recovery. Not bad for a seventh-rounder from UCLA, who, judging by the Bruins' 59--0 loss to BYU, got out of school just in time.
They're called cojones, and Mike Shanahan's got 'em. Down by one with 24 ticks left, the Broncos coach had his guys go for two instead of kicking a game-tying PAT. Score! It made Denver a 2--0 team. Why'd he do it? Said Shanny, "I had a gut feeling."
St. Louis Cardinals
So much for their wild-card hopes. It's not just that the banged-up Cards were swept last weekend—it's that they were swept by the last-place Pirates and got into a bench-clearing brawl to boot. "We started drooping," explained manager Tony La Russa (above) to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "And when you droop bad things happen."
A day after Francisco Rodriguez bounced former White Sox closer Bobby Thigpen from the record books with his 58th save (page 31), Chiefs QB Tyler Thigpen (right, no relation) looked like he needed relief help himself. Tyler, filling in for Damon Huard, went just 14 for 33 in a 23--8 loss to Oakland.
He's outta there. The Yankees second baseman loafed after a ball on Sunday, irking manager Joe Girardi, who promptly benched him. Even before that dog day afternoon, Cano (left) was slumping along with a .260 batting average and vowed last week, "This is a year that ... is not happening again."
One, two, three fourth-quarter picks tossed by Lions QB Jon Kitna, enough to ensure a loss to Green Bay (Detroit's now 0--2) and worsen the sideline karma. That's saying something. In Week 1 Kitna called timeout to scream at the offensive coaches.
SI PLAYERS MLB POLL
Who is the toughest lefthanded pitcher in baseball?
Johan Santana, Mets 32%
Cole Hamels, Phillies 12%
CC Sabathia, Brewers 11%
Scott Kazmir, Rays 10%
Billy Wagner, Mets 8%
Santana's 2.70 ERA through Sunday was second only to Cleveland's Cliff Lee's (2.28) among lefties; Lee was sixth in the poll (3.8%).... Sabathia was the top pick of lefthanded hitters, at 15.2%.... Aside from Wagner—who underwent season-ending elbow surgery last week—Colorado's Brian Fuentes and Toronto's B.J. Ryan (tied at 1.5%) were the only relievers in the top 10.
[Based on a survey of 449 MLB players] • For more on the poll, and to comment on it, go to SI.com/players.
LISA BLUMENFELD/GETTY IMAGES (BOLDIN)
HEINZ KLUETMEIER (LA RUSSA)
FRANK ORRIS/ICON SMI (DANIEL)
DOUGLAS JONES/US PRESSWIRE (THIGPEN)
KATHY WILLENS/AP (CANO)
CHUCK SOLOMON (HAMELS)
DAMIAN STROHMEYER (SANTANA)