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Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt was clearly pleased at his Monday morning press conference. He was encouraged by the road win, only the second of the season, and was happy with the way his team finished the game late.
The Cardinals broke a tie with a field goal, got a defensive hold, and were able to run out the clock on offense. These are the types of late-game sequences that went against the Cardinals in several early season losses.
Obviously, a lot of praise went to Beanie Wells for his franchise record-breaking 228-yard game which is also the second-highest rushing game in the NFL this season (behind only 253 yards from the Cowboy's DeMarco Murray which was also against the Rams).
"Beanie (Wells) is sore today (with) a little swelling but not as bad as we thought it might be," Whisenhunt said.
"When he got his knee bent back, it looked horrible. At that point I'm sure most of us assumed that was it, he's done, because he was already fighting the knee. But to his credit, he fought through and came back in and had a couple of big runs. Kudos to Beanie."
Whisenhunt said that Wells has shown a lot of growth this season in his understanding of what it takes to succeed in the NFL.
Other than a few little nicks and bruises, the Cardinals came out of the game with no new injuries.
Kevin Kolb is expected to play this coming week against the Dallas Cowboys. He made a lot of progress last week and was able to participate in practice in a limited way and could have been activated and used later in the game. Whisenhunt said the artificial turf at the Edward Jones Dome caused concerns about his ability to warm up the foot after sitting on the sidelines.
"We are certainly a lot more optimistic about him going this week. It's really going to depend on where he is Wednesday and as that progresses but he made enough progress last week that you feel good about him doing it this week," Whisenhunt said
John Skelton had another poor game with two interceptions and a 12-for-23 completion rate. Whisenhunt said a change in protection call that lead to an early sack got in his head and that he appeared uncomfortable. When Skelton sets his feet and has good technique he throws the ball well. Otherwise, as we saw, the ball can sail.
Going into Saturday's game against the St. Louis Rams, most Arizona Cardinals fans probably predicted that it would be a close game, but likely few of them foresaw that Beanie Wells would set an offensive record and Patrick Peterson would tie another en route to a 23-20 Cardinals victory.
In the third quarter, Peterson returned a punt 80 yards for a touchdown, which put the Cardinals ahead 20-10 at the time of the score. With the touchdown, his fourth of 2011, Peterson tied the NFL record for most punt returns for a touchdown in a single season. He's the first player ever to have four punt returns of 80 or more yards in a season.
The other historic day belonged to running back Wells, whose 27 carries resulted in a Cardinals single-game record of 228 rushing yards. The previous single-game mark was 214, set by LeShon Johnson in 1996. After a long stretch of games where Wells had short average yardage, he finished the day with an average carry of 8.4, with a long of 71 yards. He also contributed the only other Cardinals touchdown in the game.
The ground attack ended up carrying the game, as quarterback John Skelton had another shaky start. He finished the game going 12-for-23 with 114 passing yards, 18 rushing yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions, good for a paltry 30.0 NFL rating.
Kicker Jay Feely contributed the remaining offense for the Cardinals, going three-for-three on field goal attempts from 29, 37 and 22 yards, the last of which proved to be the difference maker in the fourth quarter.
To crunch more numbers with your fellow Cardinals fans, please visit Revenge of the Birds.
There was one particular bright spot during the 23-20 Week 12 victory that the Arizona Cardinals had over the St. Louis Rams. That was the play of running back Beanie Wells. It was especially so if you had him and started him on your fantasy team. After a good start to the season in which he was getting yards and, more importantly, rushing touchdowns, he recently has been hampered by a nagging knee injury and his production has diminished.
But the faithful were rewarded against the St, Louis Rams. He carried the ball 27 times, had 228 yards and a touchdown. That amounted to, in standard fantasy scoring, 26 points for the game (there were two lost points because of a lost fumble).
In leagues where there are bonus points for long runs, regardless of whether they result in touchdowns or not, he even provided a little of that. He broke off a 71-yard run and then later a 53-yarder. They are the two longest rushes of his NFL career.
The game was not without its worries. Not long before his 53-yarder, he got hit in the backfield and tackled for a loss. He fumbled and lost the ball, and it looked like he suffered a major injury. His right leg got bent awkwardly behind him as he was taken to the ground, and the reaction of many people was that he was going to be out for the rest of the season.
Luckily, he was able to leave the field under his own power and he later returned to show that he has become a very tough player.
So for now, fantasy owners can enjoy the celebrations of Week 12. Beanie is having a career year despite the injuries. We never know what next week, but for now he has earned some fantasy owners a ton of points.
Beanie Wells set a franchise record with 228 yards rushing on a day that saw the Arizona Cardinals beat the Rams for the seventh-straight time in St. Louis. The Cardinals fell behind early and struggled through a poor game by QB John Skelton but improve to 4-7 on the season thanks to Wells' big day, solid defense and a record-tying fourth punt return touchdown from Patrick Peterson.
The Cardinals defense was led by a very good game by rookie OLB Sam Acho, who recorded two sacks (five on the season) and forced two fumbles. ILB Daryl Washington continues to impress and the defensive line playing without starting NT Dan Williams (broken arm) held the Rams Steven Jackson to just 64 yards on 17 carries.
It wasn't a pretty game offensively from either team as both quarterbacks struggled to convert third downs and score in the red zone. Sam Bradford was the better of the two, going 17-31 for 203 yards and one touchdown. John Skelton looked extremely inaccurate early, threw two picks and went 12-23 for 114 yards.
This game was clearly won on the ground and in the trenches. The Cardinals ran for a total of 268 yards compared to 86 for the Rams. Wells had a 71-yard run in the first quarter that got the Cardinals into the red zone and produced three points. He replicated that in the fourth with a 53-yard run (video below) that broke a 20-20 tie.
Both teams recorded seven points off punt return touchdowns. The Rams Nick Miller ran one back 88 yards in the first quarter and Patrick Peterson got his fourth of the year in the third (video here).
The Cardinals complete a three-game series of road games going 2-1 and are now 3-1 in games started by John Skelton (despite his poor play). Arizona will now be home for four of their last five games of the season starting with the Dallas Cowboys next week.
For more on the game, visit Revenge of the Birds blog.
The Arizona Cardinals were struggling on offensive in the first half against the St. Louis Rams, but came alive after halftime as Beanie Wells and Patrick Peterson have put the team on their backs with a pair of third quarter touchdowns, pushing the Cards ahead 20-10 heading into the fourth quarter.
Arizona came out of the locker room with an eight play, 61 yard drive that eventually ended with a 37 yard Jay Feely field goal to bring the score to 10-6. Then it was Beanie time, breaking off a 71 yard scamper en route to an eventual seven yard TD run to give Arizona the lead 13-10. Beanie eclipsed his old personal record for rushing yards in a game in the third quarter, finishing the period with 157 yards on 18 carries on the ground with 15 more minutes to play.
The Cards would then force the Rams to punt, though they must have forget who they were kicking it to as Patrick Peterson broke off his fourth kick return TD of the season with an 80-yard run to the house to push the score to 20-10 in the Cardinals favor, matching Nick Millers 88 yard return in the first quarter for St. Louis.
Should be an exciting finish out in the Rome of the West.
For more on the Cardinals, head over to Revenge of the Birds.
The Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams sure are putting on a show for the NFL fans! The two teams have combined for just two third down conversions out of 11 attempts and both teams failed to get in the end zone despite great opportunities. Only a Rams punt return touchdown separates these two NFC West cellar dwellers.
The good news for the Cardinals has been the outstanding play of Beanie Wells. Wells has 118 yards on nine carries. 71 of those yards came on one run (video below). The Cardinals defense has also played well, especially the young linebackers Daryl Washington and Sam Acho. Acho has two sacks with one forcing a fumble.
On the other side, a late flurry helped Sam Bradford to a 8-13 completion rate for 87 yards. He was the recipient of a fantastic catch by Brandon Lloyd that got the Rams to the three-yard line. A false start and Acho sack backed up St. Louis and forced a field goal to give them a 10-3 lead headed into the second half.
Video: Beanie Wells 71-yard run:
The Arizona Cardinals did not get off to a good start. They failed to cover a punt properly and allowed the St. Louis Rams to score first on the return and then John Skelton airmailed an open Larry Fitzgerald for his first interception of the game on the next possession. The Cardinals trail 7-3 after the first quarter.
The Cardinals defense at least is once again bailing out John Skelton. They are handling Steven Jackson and getting pressure with rookie Sam Acho beating his man to force a sack fumble that Arizona was able to recover.
The Arizona offense went nowhere, however, but at least they got creative. On a second down, Patrick Peterson lined up and took the long snap on a Wildcat play but he fumbled the snap and was forced to fall on the ball. Just a bit anxious perhaps. The Rams tried a similar play with Jackson which was stuffed at the line. Sometimes there's a reason these trick plays aren't used very often.
Late in the quarter, Beanie Wells knocked off a 71-yard run to put Arizona in the red zone but Skelton (2-6) looks horrible and the Cards settle for field goal.
For more on the game, visit Revenge of the Birds blog.
Here's video of the Rams punt return touchdown:
It's been a long road for Kevin Kolb since he injured his right foot and big toe early in the Arizona Cardinals game against the Baltimore Ravens four weeks ago. He's worked hard to get back on the field but only saw his first snaps in practice this week and was limited and split time with back up John Skelton.
After testing his mobility on the turf at Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis his "questionable" status was officially answered. Kolb will miss his fourth-straight game which gives John Skelton an opportunity to redeem himself after a horrible game last week against the Niners.
The Cardinals will welcome back their pass-catching tight end, Todd Heap but still are without rookie Rob Housler (groin). Hopefully, that will give Skelton another option and take some pressure off Larry Fitzgerald.
Other inactives for Arizona include WR Stephen Williams, S Kerry Rhodes, LB Joey Porter, OL D'Anthony Batiste, FB Regan Maui'a. RT Jeremy Bridges will get the start over Brandon Keith who suffered a concussion last week. Keith is active.
Here's the inactive list for the Rams:
Twitter / @STLouisRams: Rams inactives:
Rams inactives: T Mark LeVoir, G Bryan Mattison, WR Danario Alexander, RB Cadillac Williams, LB Josh Hull, LB Ben Leber, DT Justin Bannan.
The Arizona Cardinals head into Week 12 of the NFL season facing a St. Louis Rams team against which they seem fairly evenly matched. They will be hoping to pick up their fourth win of the season against a very shaky team. Although the Cardinals are the very slight underdogs in this game, a victory seems well within their ability.
Here is all the pertinent information you should need in order to follow this week's game.
Game Time: Kickoff is at 10:00 AM PST (11:00 AM MST) at Edward Jones Dome.
Television Broadcast: The game will be televised on FOX (KSAZ FOX 10). Your commentators will be Sam Rosen and Chad Pennington.
Radio Broadcast: KTAR 620AM, Sirius 117.
Betting Line: The line opened with the Cardinals as three-point underdogs, but the Rams are currently favored at between 1 and 2.5 points, according to our friends at OddsShark.
Online Coverage: As always, your online home for all news and information related to the Cardinals can be located at Revenge of the Birds.
The St. Louis Rams have officially put offensive tackle Jason Smith on the injured reserve this week to officially end his season. Taylor has been out since the Oct. 23 game against the Dallas Cowboys were he suffered a concussion and since then has not been able to pass the tests to get back on the field. Wide receiver Mark Clayton came back for two weeks from the PUP list to only see limited action from a knee injury he suffered last year, and with the knee still bothering Clayton he has been placed on the injured reserve as well.
The Cardinals will be facing a banged up Rams team on Sunday as they have three players already listed out and four more who are questionable.
|Player Position Injury Practice Report Status|
|Mark Clayton||WR||Knee||Did Not Participate In Practice||IR|
|Jason Smith||T||Head||Did Not Participate In Practice||IR|
|Justin Bannan||DT||Shoulder||Did Not Participate In Practice||Out|
|Josh Hull Mark LeVoir||LB||Hamstring||Did Not Participate In Practice||Out|
|Mark LeVoir||T||Pectoral||Did Not Participate In Practice||Out|
|Danario Alexander||WR||Hamstring||Limited Participation in Practice||Questionable|
|James Laurinaitis||LB||Foot||Limited Participation in Practice||Questionable|
|Chris Long||DE||Ankle||Limited Participation in Practice||Questionable|
|Carnell Williams||RB||Calf||Limited Participation in Practice||Questionable|
|Lance Kendricks||TE||Head||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Justin King||CB||Knee||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Austin Pettis||WR||Knee||Limited Participation in Practice||Probable|
For more on the St. Louis Rams head over to Turf Show Times.
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb has been saying all week that he is optimistic that he will play on Sunday against the St. Louis Rams. Kolb has been limited in practice all week and that was the same for Friday's practice and the team still lists Kolb as questionable on the teams injury report.
Tight end Todd Heap who has been slowed down with a hamstring injury did return to practice in a limited fashion this week and there is some optimism that Heap could suit up and play. Linebacker Jerry Porter who has been out with a knee injury for the past month is listed as out for Sunday's game.
|Jeremy Bridges||T||Non-injury related||DNP||-||-||-|
Fore more on the Cardinals head over to Revenge of the Birds.
On the eve of Thanksgiving, it appears that the Arizona Cardinals are closer to getting some key players back for game action. Quarterback Kevin Kolb and tight end Todd Heap, both important offseason acquisitions, participated in practice in a limited fashion. There is some optimism that they may be able to play on Sunday against the St. Louis Rams.
Kolb took about 35 to 40 percent of the snaps with the first team, according to his own estimation and also about half the snaps with the scout team. If his foot and toe respond well to the action, it will allow him more reps in practice and a likely return to game action and starting against the Rams.
There were four players who did not practice. As expected, safety Kerry Rhodes (foot) and linebacker Joey Porter (knee) were out. In addition to them, tackles Brandon Keith and Jeremy Bridges did not practice. Keith is recovering from a concussion he suffered against the 49ers and Bridges was out due to non-football reasons.
The other three players on the injury report fully practiced. LaRod Stephens-Howling (shoulder) and Paris Lenon (groin) have been listed now for a couple of weeks. Darnell Dockett (groin) appeared on the list as well.
Arizona Cardinals starting quarterback (yes, he's still the starter) Kevin Kolb got his first action in practice on Wednesday since injuring his foot against the Ravens three weeks ago. Kolb split time with John Skelton, getting about 35-40 percent of the reps. Kolb also got in some additional work with the practice squad just to help shake the rust off.
"Physically, it's where I wanted it to be," Kolb said.
Mentally, he said things were moving fast as too be expected in his first day back on the field in "live" action. He reported soreness in the foot but said it's not from the injury as much as "working out the kinks".
Kolb was able to plant and push in the pocket but there's still concern about how he'll react to unexpected situations in a live game. And while he isn't worried about it, Kevin agreed that the training staff might have some concern about playing on artificial turf on Sunday which has less give and can lead to more foot injuries(hence the term "turn toe").
Overall Kolb said he was very optimistic about his chances to play against the St. Louis Rams.
It's not all positive, however, as Kolb still isn't 100 percent medically cleared and coach Ken Whisenhunt points out that the decision isn't all about his foot.
"There's a lot of things you've got to consider. He hadn't played in a couple of weeks so you've got to make sure he's comfortable with the plan and that he's ready to operate. That's all what this week is for," Whisenhunt said, adding,
"He fell right back into it after a couple of snaps as far as the mechanics of (the offense). Calling it, understanding it, getting those things done."
John Skelton said he will take whatever reps he can get in practice although he agreed that it does make it more difficult to prepare when you don't get all the snaps.
Skelton certainly seemed like he wants another chance to redeem himself after last Sunday's miserable performance against the Rams, "It's a negative having a game like that on your resume but at the same time you still have opportunities down the road to improve on it."
The bottom line is, Kolb made a huge step forward towards returning to the field. If his foot responds well and he has no set-backs it seems like he has a very good chance of starting Sunday.
There were a few roster moves by the Arizona Cardinals today.
The team also signed defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin and linebacker Brandon Williams to the practice squad and released tight end Steve Skelton from the practice squad.
Talley has spent half the season on the practice squad and the other half he was inactive on the active roster.
Lumpkin spent the first seven weeks of the season on the Cardinals practice squad after he was with the team during training camp.
Williams appeared in six games for the Dallas Cowboys in 2010, his most recent NFL action.
The Denver Broncos waived veteran quarterback Kyle Orton in an apparent sign of total faith in the golden arm (legs) of Tim Tebow. By placing Orton on waivers, the Bronco's can save approximately $2.5 million in salary for this season according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
There are a few teams with injured starting quarterbacks that could jump on the Orton Train. The Chicago Bears will be without Jay Cutler due to a thumb injury. They don't yet know how long he'll be out. The irony would not be lost on anyone if the Bears did land Orton since they traded him to Denver for Cutler in 2009.
The Houston Texans also lost their starting quarterback, Matt Schaub, with a foot injury. He could be out for the season. They are planning on turning over the team to Matt Leinart, but as a playoff contender the Texans might opt for Orton's experience.
That brings us to the Arizona Cardinals who have their own quarterback situation with Kevin Kolb not playing well before going down with the foot injury three weeks ago. John Skelton hasn't exactly torn the doors off with his play in a backup role.
There will certainly be Cardinals fans who would like to see what Orton could do. Many felt he was a better option than Kolb in the offseason and it will likely be those same people that want to see him in Cardinals red and white now even though Kolb is expected back at some point this season.
Orton, 29, has 66 career starts with a 33-33 win/loss record as a quarterback. He's known as a guy who stands in the pocket and can make throws. He's also not been able to generate a lot of love from the teams he's played for and lost his Broncos job to a QB who's greatest strengths are intangibles and running the ball.
The Cardinals would ahead of the Bears and Texans to claim Orton in the waiver process based on their poor record.
But does it make sense for the 3-7 Cardinals to create even more quarterback turmoil and take on Orton's salary at this point in the season? What message would it send to Kolb if they picked up Orton now?
Between the cost and potential upheaval, it doesn't seem likely given the way the Cardinals have reacted in the past that they would go after Orton...but you never know.
The Arizona Cardinals "quarterback controversy" was effectively ended Sunday when John Skelton went 6-19 with three interceptions. He's was, in a word, bad. So bad that even his coach who normally will publicly defend his players no matter what, was willing to admit the obvious.
"After what he's done the last couple of weeks where you thought he was making progress, it's frustrating," Ken Whisenhunt said. "I know it's frustrating for John but he's a young player, that happens with young players. We've got to get him through this. We've got to get better at making sure that he won't, hopefully, struggle."
He was bad for sure, but it was only one game and it did come against one of the best defenses in the league and the Cardinals weren't playing with a fully stocked cupboard (no Todd Heap or Rob Housler and a limited Beanie Wells).
Maybe the ride isn't over yet?
The hope now is that Kevin Kolb will experience a recovery from his foot injury this week, but things were not looking espeically promising on that front. Whisenhunt said Kolb "wasn't close" when he was evaluated before the 49ers game.
"I pushed it hard all week and it just wasn't there," He said Monday. "I think I would have been hurting my team if I played on it. I'd be limping around everywhere and definitely wouldn't be up to par...I'm just going to keep pushing and do my best to be out there this week."
Whisenhunt made it clear that if Kolb missed his fourth-straight game this Sunday, Skelton will get the start against the Rams. Here's what he has to say for himself.
"I've been in games like this before, situations like this. You learn from them and move on and know that you are a better quarterback than how the game went," he said...not that there's much else he could say.
He did allow that his resilience, typically seen as a strength, was tested in his last start. Instead of bouncing back from an early mistake, he let it compound, "Normally, you know how to turn it off and move on but a game like that against a good defense it's hard to make a mistake and not let it effect you."
If there is a "quarterback controversy" left, Ken Whisenhunt is claiming not to be paying any attention to it, "I'm sure it's a topic but as far as where it (the controversy) is now, I don't know."
So right now, the fickle fan sentiment has shifted back towards the incumbent. With six games left on the schedule we'll see if either of the contestants can seize control of race and put this question bed. History, however, tells us that we are likely in for plenty more ups and downs on the Arizona Cardinals Quarterback Roller Coaster.
The Arizona Cardinals are banged up on the offensive side of the ball and lost their starting nose tackle, Dan Williams, for the season. They face the St. Louis Rams on the road next Sunday.
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