The Hyphen’s rough day

Posted by Darren Urban on September 27, 2012 – 11:58 am

LaRod Stephens-Howling could only smile. What else was he going to do?

His stat line from Sunday’s game against the Eagles was, well, there is no other way to put it — it was ugly. Forced into action down the stretch after Beanie Wells went out of the game and Ryan Williams was dealing with cramps, the Hyphen was battered at the line of scrimmage running plays that probably don’t fit his skill set the best. Plus the Eagles at the end knew the Cards would run the ball and were coming to stop it. So the Hyphen’s final numbers were eight carries for minus-14 yards.

“It was rough,” Stephens-Howling said. “And it was rough waking up Monday and seeing what the stats were. But again, we all knew what we had to do, we lost Beanie and we were short running backs, so I needed to get in there and take the carries. The win makes it better than those negative-14 yards.”

The end of game doesn’t explain everything. In fact, Stephens-Howling had three first-half carries that put him in a deep hole, losing 5, 4 and 2 yards, respectively. Of his eight carries, seven lost yardage. Since 1960, a total of 20 Cardinals have had a game in which they have had at least five carries and had zero or negative yards. Nine quarterback efforts dot the list. The running back closest to Stephens-Howling for day of difficulty was merely the best running back in franchise history, Ottis Anderson, who was stoned for minus-10 yards on 11 carries in a 1985 game against Dallas.

(Here’s the funny thing: Of those 20 games where a runner couldn’t get started, the Cardinals actually have a 12-7-1 record. And the Cardinals won both the game in which Anderson struggled and of course, Stephen-Howling’s game Sunday.)

Again, Stephens-Howling,  who now has 12 total rushing attempts for a grand total of one yard on the season, took it in stride. The Cardinals won. They also actually ended up running the ball OK as a team, finishing with 99 yards on 34 tries and seeing Williams rip off a career-best 83-yard performance on just 13 carries. It was surprising from the Hyphen too, since the last couple of years he has been a threat to break a big play — and usually gets at least one — every time he touches the ball.

Going forward he will be needed to help Williams as the Cards deal with the long-term loss of Wells. Sunday the Cardinals needed carries and needed him to burn clock and hold on to the ball. He would have liked to gain yards, but the result worked out. And he’s willing to live with individual sacrifice. The Cards are, after all, 3-0.

“Hey that’s what I am here to do,” Stephens-Howling said. “I’ll take one for the team.”

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Posted in Blog | 26 Comments »

26 Responses to “The Hyphen’s rough day”

  1. By Eric G on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Always hated the nickname hyphen, always thought it should have been “DaSH” for Da Stephens Howling.

  2. By SteveG on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Winning cures all ills….

    Hope he gets healthy VERY soon….


  3. By cdj on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    @Eric G

    If i could have liked comments on this blog i would have liked yours

  4. By Brian on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    This is the attitude and environment this organization has developed. Who cares what your personal numbers are, the most important number is the one in the W column. LSH knew what needed to be done and that was to hold on to the football, take some hits and keep the clock moving regardless of what his yards per carry were. This guy does it all and will hopefully be rewarded very soon.

    Also, I liked “Hyphen” but I think “DaSH” is a pretty good one as well

  5. By Kurt on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Eric G is right let’s adopt “Dash”

  6. By cdj on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply


    sorry to ask again but has Kolb’s baby been born yet?

  7. By Darren Urban on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    cdj —

    RE: Kolb baby

    Not yet.

  8. By LadyCard04 on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Was he hurt on the horsecollar that wasn’t called? The commentators even made mention of the obvious horsecollar and the ref was right there looking at the play. Kind of seemed strange they didn’t even call the foul. (Well, maybe no so strange in light of the debacle on Monday night.) Hope his hip gets better and that they can give him some running plays that suit his style.

  9. By ndpenner on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Oh well. We won. He’ll pick it up a few notches in a game or two and make some defense look stupid. We still have faith in you, Larod.

    On another note, what about “Backslash”. It sounds kinda edgy and sticks to the one key-press thing like the Hyphen, -, the Backslash, / . 😀

  10. By casey on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Where is Powell in that situation and why did we keep him if not for that exact situation. Even with the Alfonso Smith signing we are going to need another back with that type of decision making

  11. By Darren Urban on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Casey —

    RE: Powell

    Again, Powell was inactive Sunday. You can’t play everyone on the roster. And Beanie was fine when the game started.

  12. By Dynosoar on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply


    did the link I sent yesterday do what you wanted regarding o-Line?

  13. By Dynosoar on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    I wonder if other teams refer to LSH as “Hyphen” in their game planning. I’m used to hyphen and also like Dash. Both good. Does anyone remmeber which teammate gave him his nickname? I think it was two seasons ago.

  14. By Darren Urban on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Dyno —

    RE: Hyphen

    Teammates called him the Hyphen back when he was a rookie in 2009. It’s stuck to a certain level:

  15. By D on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    I think running plays for the Hyphen from behind the line of scrimmage are ill conceived. His best attribute is to play in space, dump off screens or redirection plays, using him to run up the middle is like bashing your head against the wall…pointless….now that Smith and Powell are available, assuming we won’t see it again…

  16. By Texascard on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    More super bowl hype. This defense is so good it is scary. As these players continue to get better in their defensive roles it will become dominant. An offensive td will be enough to win a game. Kolb has accepted that he cannot turn the ball over. We are winning without a run game. Defense plus responsible kolb plus better run game equal super bowl. In whisenhunt and Grimm I trust

  17. By red sea on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    I always liked larod he is no quiter he will bounce back in the next couple of games and show y he deserves a big reward

  18. By Bay Area Bad Boy on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Well what ever you want to call him, Just give him the ball in open space and let him do this thing. He will no doubt bust one for a TD. On a side note, Darren do you think the team is getting a little distracted with all the media coverage. I’m noticing different cardinals all over the tv now. Hopefully all the attention is not a distraction, any comments on what you see ???

  19. By Darren Urban on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Bay Area —

    RE: Distracted

    There might be a couple of extra TV interviews here and there, but it’s not a big deal. I don’t see any issues.

  20. By rodgerscromartie17 on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Darren has anybody ever told you that you deserve to be paid as much as the players do

  21. By Darren Urban on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    rodgerscromartie17 —

    RE: Pay

    Ha! My wife might have been nice to me once and said something like that, but I’m guessing she’d benefit too.

    I appreciate the compliment, but what I do and what they do, mostly when it comes to putting their bodies on the line, is not comparable. I don’t begrudge them a bit.

    (Although I would love to make that much money.)

  22. By AndyStandsUp on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    It’s LaRuSH and look at Darren being the stat guy.

    Nice research.

  23. By CDNelson86 on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    RE: Pay-

    Alot of us have said quite a few times Darren needs a pay raise, ill agree he should get alot more $, maybe his paydays should be an over all % of the $ the players make.

    RE: Non-flaged playes-

    I not only believe the LSH play should have been a flag but also the play that Willams broke off for a huge gain and was takein out of bounds and then SHOVED into Levi Brown almost running him over. Id like to see some Fines for that stuff.

  24. By Casey on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Understood Darren,

    Have to play Hyphen over Powell. on another note………………………
    this is the D that I saw coming in 2 years ago. Keep it rolling baby. Give the O some time to build a rhythm and they will start lining the top of the power rankings. So Psyched

  25. By cdj on Sep 28, 2012 | Reply


    yeah well kind of i was trying to see if they kept tabs on like exactly what linemen allowed which sacks but its all right though, makes me wonder how they choose probowl linemen though wiithout any stats on them to look at

  26. By Rio on Sep 28, 2012 | Reply

    Willaim Powell baby. Watch this guy with the straight leg move.

    Go Cards.

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