Beanie Wells (Getty)
The Arizona Cardinals overcame a slow start against Seattle, pulling away late to avoid a third loss in four home games this season. Although Arizona prevailed by a margin of 31-20, the team trailed 17-7 during the first half and led by just three points early in the fourth quarter. Brad Wilbricht outlines the Cardinals' second straight win, including the emergence rookie RB Beanie Wells.
While the Arizona Cardinals' passing attack was potent as usual, the real story behind Sunday’s win was RB Beanie Wells’ breakout performance. Wells diced the Seattle Seahawks' run defense, accumulating a career-high 85 yards rushing along with two touchdowns. Wells added two catches for 32 yards and showed flashes of his potential as an every down back at the NFL level.
Wells was extremely impressive, running patiently and disciplined while setting up his blocks. Wells’ explosiveness was on full display as he broke several long runs. For just the second time all season, the Cardinals’ offensive line allowed the team’s rushing attack to surpass 100 yards. RB Tim Hightower remains the starter but played second fiddle to Wells in Week 10 rushing for 37 yards on 10 carries.
QB Kurt Warner helped setup Wells and the Arizona running game as we was nearly flawless completing over 76 percent of his passes. Warner finished the game 29-of-38 for 340 yards and two touchdowns. More importantly, Warner avoided a turnover for the second consecutive week. WR Anquan Boldin’s status was uncertain throughout the week but he ended up leading the Cardinals in receiving with eight grabs for 105 yards.
Although there were many positives for the Arizona faithful to take from the victory over the Seahawks, the Cardinals’ defense was torched for 472 yards. Seattle racked up 29 first downs and RB Justin Forsett rushed for over 100 yards for the first time in his career. QB Matt Hasselbeck topped 300 yards passing and wideout T.J. Houshmandzadeh reeled in nine passes for 165 yards.
Nearly as disappointing was the number of penalties called on Arizona and its inability to convert on third down. In total, the Cardinals were flagged for 11 infractions resulting in 136 penalty yards. Thankfully for Arizona, the Seahawks returned the favor committing nine penalties for 113 yards on their own. The Cards managed to move the chains only twice on 12 third down opportunities, a ratio they'll need to improve in the coming weeks.
Next up for Arizona is yet another winnable game on the road against the division rival St. Louis Rams. St. Louis may have some newfound confidence after nearly handing the New Orleans Saints their first loss of the season. Although the Rams’ record stands at just 1-8, they’ve been competitive at times losing three games by a combined 10 points.
Questions or comments? Contact Brad Wilbricht at firstname.lastname@example.org
or click here to access the AZRedReport.com message boards.