ST. LOUIS, MO - NOVEMBER 27: Beanie Wells #26 of the Arizona Cardinals breaks free for a 53-yard run against Quintin Mikell #27 of the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on November 27, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals beat the Rams 23-20. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Wow, what an ugly win in St. Louis but as the tireless mantra goes, a win is a win. Despite some poor play from John Skelton and the special teams unit surrendering a punt return touchdown, the Arizona Cardinals dominated the game. Specifically Beanie Wells dominated the game.
While 4-7 is nothing to write home about, the day did give us a win and two records from two young players.
1) Chris "Beanie" Wells and the offensive line: Apparently during the week Coach Whisenhunt challenged the offensive line and RB's to step up their game. They responded in a big way helping Beanie set the Arizona Cardinals franchise single game rushing record with 228 yards on 27 carries, a whooping 8.4 yards a carry. Beanie also had a rushing TD. Overall the offensive line produced 268 total yards on the ground on 38 carries, a stellar 7.1 yards a carry.
2) Patrick Peterson and our extra special teams: You would think that the Rams had already learned their lesson when it comes to kicking it to Patrick Peterson. The second Peterson caught that ball I knew he was gone. Peterson had another stellar day returning punts. Not only did he tie the NFL record for most punts returns for touchdowns at 4, he also set the record for most punt returns for TD's as a rookie and he did it in only 10 games. IF teams kick it to Peterson he will break the record this year. Currently Peterson and our return team average 17.1 a return. Only Devin Hester is averaging more, at 21.2 yard per return.
3) Sam Acho: Not many fourth round players have 5 sacks in the first ten games of their rookie season. If I had the resources I would guess less than a handful of players have ever accomplished the feat. Acho is now tied with Calais Campbell for the team lead in sacks. Sam also generated a timely forced fumble and decided to recover it himself too, talk about an overachiever! Acho finished the day with 2 sacks, a fumble, a fumble recovery, a TFL, a QB hit and 3 solo tackles. Did I mention he is only a rookie :D
4) The defense as a whole: When we lost Dan Williams to IR I was worried we would become softer in the middle. While big Dan hasn't had a stellar season, he was doing an adequate job at stuffing the middle. Thankfully my concerns were laid to rest. The defense held Steven Jackson to only 64 yards on 17 carries. Overall they held the Rams to 89 total rushing yards on 22 carries, 3.9 yards a carry. The defense also played Sam Bradford well. Bradford did end the day with an 85 QB rating and a TD, but he wasn't much of a factor as the the Rams utilized a lot of max protect schemes to protect him from Acho and Campbell.
5) John Skelton and the play calling: I have been ragging on Skelton a lot. Honestly he played terribly, but he did what he does best, he came through in the clutch again and put the Cardinals in position to win. He hit a perfect pass to Larod Stephens-Howling to extend the drive and another pass to Larry Fitzgerald. The play calling throughout the game was perfect. They fed Beanie, they mixed it up and they fed Beanie some more. Not even an Iron Chef could have cooked up a better game plan.
Next week, a test of Kolb versus the Cowboys. Should be interesting!