Kurt Warner’s 2002 Season: Stats, Game Log, More During an Injury-Plagued Year to Forget
Coming off a Super Bowl defeat at the hands of the New England Patriots, Kurt Warner had a chance to lead the St. Louis Rams back to prominence during the 2002 season. The universe had other ideas, though.
Despite Marshall Faulk, Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce, and Ricky Proehl still heading the depth chart at the skill positions, the Greatest Show on Turf couldn’t replicate the magic it had produced in previous campaigns. Turnovers ran rampant, and Warner — even while staying away from spiders — couldn’t get anything going.
First came an opening-week matchup with the Brian Griese-led Denver Broncos. Warner completed 32 of his 41 passes, but none of them found the end zone. The Broncos kept him to underneath routes all game while holding Faulk to 10 carries for 19 yards and a touchdown, and the Rams’ only other points in the 23-16 defeat came via Jeff Wilkins’ right leg.
And that was just the beginning.
Three games into the season, Warner was clearly in a funk.
After the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ top-ranked defense picked him off four times, he’d thrown seven interceptions to just one touchdown while leading the Rams to 51 total points and an 0-3 record. Even that was better than Week 4, which saw him break the pinky finger on his right hand just two passes into the contest — one a 17-yard completion to Faulk and the other a pass caught by Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Ellis.
The Rams got themselves off the schneid after an 0-5 start (Jamie Martin was the starting quarterback for the fifth loss) with four straight victories against the Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals, and San Diego Chargers, all of which came with Marc Bulger as the primary signal-caller.
Bulger had entered the NFL as a sixth-round pick in 2000, but practice squads had been his permanent home before the Warner injury. Even then, he needed Martin to go down with a knee injury to move from third string to the starting role.
But following in Warner’s footsteps with an unlikely rise to prominence, Bulger flat-out thrived. In his five victorious starts midway through the 2002 campaign, he completed 65.3% of his passes for 1,496 yards (299.2 per game), 12 touchdowns, and four interceptions.
Still, Warner had a chance to take back the reins once his finger healed up. It just didn’t go well.
After playing one drive in a Week 11 victory over the Chicago Bears, Warner reclaimed the starting job and continued to struggle. The Rams only scored 20 total points in two consecutive losses, and the QB ended up on injured reserve after he suffered a fracture of the fifth metacarpal in his right hand.
Though the inability to stay healthy gave him a viable excuse, the 31-year-old had suffered through the worst season of his career, finishing with three touchdown passes and 11 interceptions in six winless starts.
Read more about Kurt Warner’s NFL career:
- Kurt Warner: Biography, Career, Net Worth, Family, Top Stories for the Hall of Fame QB
- Kurt Warner’s 1998 NFL Season
- Kurt Warner’s 1999 NFL Season
- Kurt Warner’s 2000 NFL Season
- Kurt Warner’s 2001 NFL Season
- Kurt Warner’s 2003 NFL Season
- Kurt Warner’s 2004 NFL Season
- Kurt Warner’s 2005 NFL Season
- Kurt Warner’s 2006 NFL Season
- Kurt Warner’s 2007 NFL Season
- Kurt Warner’s 2008 NFL Season
- Kurt Warner’s 2009 NFL Season
Kurt Warner 2002 Stats
Kurt Warner 2002 Game Log
All stats, unless otherwise indicated, courtesy of Pro Football Reference