The St. Louis Rams, who entered this season as the NFL's losingest team in the 1990s, remained the only unbeaten team this year with a 34-3 victory over the winless Cleveland Browns today.
"We're number six," Browns Coach Chris Palmer said. "They've done the same thing to everybody they've played, whether it be the 49ers, or the Falcons, or whoever they played."
Kurt Warner threw three touchdown passes, two to Roland Williams. Marshall Faulk, after spending the night in a hospital with what he termed a "mixture of food poisoning and flu-like symptoms," had 133 yards rushing on 16 carries, including a 33-yard touchdown.
"I don't want to bad-mouth any restaurant or anything like that," Faulk said. "I was going to try to play regardless of how I felt."
The expansion Browns, 19-point underdogs, were more fodder for a team that has made a remarkable transformation after entering the season 45-99 for the decade. The Rams (6-0) led 14-0 before the Browns (0-7) had run an offensive play and it was 21-3--and the game essentially over--at halftime.
Browns rookie wide receiver Kevin Johnson had brashly predicted a victory. In particular, he was treated roughly.
"Our secondary got together during the introductions, and they were going to give this guy the business," defensive tackle D'Marco Farr said. "Somebody was talking to him as soon as he got up and all the way back to the huddle."
Johnson also was taunted by some fans as he left the field, and his postgame comments were muted.
"I just said what I thought," Johnson said. "Hats off to those guys."
Warner, so lightly regarded before Trent Green's season-ending knee injury in August that the Browns had a shot at him in the expansion draft, hiked his league-leading touchdown pass total to 18. He was 23 for 29 for 203 yards and leads the NFL with a 131.5 quarterback rating.
Williams, the starter at tight end while Ernie Conwell recovers from reconstructive knee surgery, had a pair of one-yard scores. He had his best game receiving with five catches for 50 yards.
Faulk set up both of Williams's scores with receiving gains of 13 and 15 yards, each time to the Browns 1. Then Faulk went to the locker room for intravenous fluids before halftime. In the third quarter, he eluded several would-be tacklers on his 33-yard run. He also had 67 yards on nine catches.