RAMS 17

CARDINALS 10 -- Competition for his job is bringing out the best in Marshall Faulk.

The St. Louis Rams' running back shared time with first-round pick Steven Jackson in Sunday's 17-10 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

But Faulk, who has missed 11 games because of injuries the past two seasons, carried the load with 128 yards on 22 carries. His steady play helped the Rams overcome three costly turnovers that kept the margin from being very comfortable.

Jackson also played well in his debut, shaking off a lost fumble on his first career carry after a 14-yard gain. Jackson finished with 50 yards on seven carries.

The Rams beat the Cardinals for the fifth straight time and sent Arizona to its 14th straight road loss, but did it the hard way. Each of the turnovers came deep in Arizona territory, and they also ran out of gas at the Arizona 10 and 4, settling for field goals.

Emmitt Smith had a resurgent game with 87 yards on 16 carries, including an 11-yard touchdown run that put the Cardinals ahead 10-9 in the final minute of the third quarter. Smith was limited to only 256 yards last season because of injuries.

Cardinals first-round pick Larry Fitzgerald also had a nice beginning with four catches for 70 yards, including a 37-yard catch on a flea-flicker from Josh McCown on the first play from scrimmage.