Adrian Wilson was on the field and the Cardinals were about to use the victory/kneel-down formation at the end of Sunday’s game. But with Beanie Wells having a chance at history – to himself – the Cards took a delay of game and then Wells got his record-breaking run, a 14-yarder that put the exclamation point on a 228-yard day.
It was a fantastic show by Beanie, and a necessary one. The Cards need to get Kevin Kolb back on the field at quarterback, odd in some ways to say after John Skelton went 3-1 as a starter, but the passing offense has grinded to a halt. You don’t want to get anything confused – the Rams’ after all, do have the NFL’s worst run defense and have dealt with 200-yard rushers earlier this season, after Dallas’ DeMarco Murray ran for a league-high 253 yards – but Beanie played well and to match his career-high in carries with 27 speaks to fighting through his knee soreness.
— The Cards used a few more jumbo-type packages to just out-physical the Rams. Beanie looked comfortable doing those things. Now Wells just needs to hold up – he looked beat up the way he was walking around the locker room – and the Cards need to feed the Bean.
— Speaking of that knee, the way Beanie got twisted around in the fourth quarter looked ugly at first (and his lost fumble could have been disaster). But he broke off a 53-yard run the next time he got back in the game. And that led Larry Fitzgerald to tag Beanie with the Paul Pierce award.
“Past recipients have been Greg Toler (and) Eric Green,” Fitzgerald quipped. “I think Beanie is a candidate but we are glad to have him on the team.”
Pierce, of course, is the star of the NBA’s Boston Celtics who left a 2008 Finals game looking like he wrecked his knee horribly, only to return later in the game like nothing had happened. It’s all in good fun – Fitzgerald nabbed Green back after the Jets game in 2008, when Green came up lame after getting burned for a touchdown and Fitzgerald insisted his injury “changed” to a different part of the body after Green came to the sideline.
It was all in good fun, although after the ups and downs Wells has been through given his injury situations – and what outside people tend to see with Wells when he gets hurt – it was kinda close to home.
“You know what it goes to show you Beanie has grown up a little bit, a tough-minded guy,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “That’s what you need. That’s what we have been striving to get Beanie to get to do for a couple years now. It’s great to see.”
— Beanie has a career-high 849 yards rushing already with five games remaining. He now has a career high in touchdowns too, with eight.
— It meant something that rookie fullback Anthony Sherman was in there blocking for Beanie. Sherman is good at his job already. Plus, Beanie seems to be the kind of back who likes having a lead back blocking for him.
— Fitz was quiet again (3 catches, 55 yards) but that’s what happens when the quarterback struggles so. “I am just happy to get a win honestly,” Fitzgerald said. “I would love to have 100 yards and a couple touchdowns, but I know that’s not going to happen every week.”
Fair. But the Cards need Fitz and more importantly, need to find a way to get him the ball. That’s probably been mentioned before.
— Sam Acho isn’t going to say much about himself. He doesn’t like to do it if he can help it, preferring to shower the entire team with praise. I asked him on the plane if he was going to be a little more forthcoming. Nope. “Go ahead and put me down for all the clichés,” he said. That’s fine. We will stick with simple analysis: Acho has been very impressive. He already has five sacks as a rookie, and he barely played defense before the seventh game of the season. Is he a Pro Bowler? No. Not even polished. But a very good start, and needed at that position.
— No, I don’t know if Sam Rosen will be calling any more games involving the Cardinals on Fox this season.
— Patrick Peterson said on the radio after the game he wants to get to six punt-return TDs this season. If he gets five, it’s a season for the ages as a special teamer. One at a time.
— Hope Rosen wouldn’t have to fill in for the Cards’ own radio play-by-play guy, Dave Pasch. Pasch’s neck was hurting enough before the game he had to get a shot from the trainers of the “blue juice” Ron Wolfley recalls so fondly from his playing days. To be honest, it was a little freaky how jacked up Wolf got with the idea Pasch had to take the needle. Pasch indeed gutted out the game. He’s officially probable for next Sunday against Dallas.
— Tight end Todd Heap finally played a full game, but ended up as only a blocker. He was not targeted for a pass (although Jeff King was three times as a tight end, catching two).
— The down side of Beanie’s two big runs: In six subsequent downs right after the 71- and 53-yarders, one after first-and-10 at the Rams 11-yard line and one after first-and-goal at the Rams 9, the Cards gained all of five yards (two runs for no gain, three incompletions, and a five-yard pass to Fitz). They had to kick two field goals.
That was on the mind of guard Daryn Colledge when it was suggested the Cards found something by leaning on the run Sunday. “We’re going to run the plays that are called,” Colledge said. “We’re not concerned if they are run or pass. We want production. That’s important coming out of this game: We need more production in the red zone.”
— Two wildcat playcalls this season with Peterson at QB. The first time, the Cards had to call timeout before the snap because of a formation problem. Sunday, Peterson fumbled the snap. Maybe next time we’ll actually see what Peterson is supposed to do.
— Skelton said his first interception was simply a bad read and he should have thrown it to the dump-down guy. His other high throws was an issue of trying to get it up and over underneath coverage. “It’s something I have to work on,” Skelton said.
That’s good for now. Game ball, Beanie.
Tags: Anthony Sherman, Beanie Wells, Daryn Colledge, Dave Pasch, John Skelton, Larry Fitzgerald, Patrick Peterson, Rams, Ron Wolfley, Sam Acho, Sam Rosen
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