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From Record-Breaking To Heartbreaking

Posted Oct 2, 2011

Notebook: Fitzgerald, Wells set marks in loss; Carter's first sack a big one

Running back Beanie Wells (26) barrels in for one of his three touchdowns Sunday as receiver Larry Fitzgerald (right) aids with a block of Giants safety Antrel Rolle.

It was a record-breaking afternoon for the Cardinals’ two offensive stars, but the misery of another heartbreaking loss was all either Beanie Wells or Larry Fitzgerald could think about.

“The only record I’m concerned about right now is one-and-three,” Fitzgerald said, noting the Cards’ win-loss tally after Sunday’s 31-27 loss to the New York Giants. “We’re not out here for personal accolades, what’s important is going out there and winning ballgames. That’s our job, that’s what we’re paid to do, and that’s what the people who come to watch us play expect from us.”

Wells was even more succinct: “You can’t dwell on (success) because we lost the game. It sucks.”

Wells, after missing a week with bad hamstring, piled up 27 carries for 138 yards and three touchdowns – all career-highs. That’s playing at less than 100 percent he said, with his hamstring still an issue.

Fitzgerald, who had eight receptions for 102 yards, surpassed Roy Green as the franchise’s all-time leader in receiving yards (Fitzgerald now has 8,565 yards in his career) and his 28th career 100-yard game broke his tie with former teammate Anquan Boldin for the most in franchise history.

It’s the kind of impact the Cards need from both weekly, something missing a week ago in Seattle when Wells was hurt and the Cards couldn’t get the ball to Fitzgerald in the second half. It was Fitzgerald’s 47-yard reception that sparked the go-ahead touchdown drive and his 16-yard catch ignited the Cards’ final TD drive.

Wells, meanwhile, just kept plowing forward as the backbone of the offense all day.

“Once I’m healthier, the better off we will be,” Wells said. “We have to play better as a group, though. We will. We have hard workers.”

CARTER’S BIG PLAY

Rookie nose tackle David Carter made the first big play of his short career, slicing through on a first-down play to sack Eli Manning for the first of his career and forcing a fumble. Teammate Darnell Dockett jumped on the ball at the New York 5-yard line, setting up Wells’ second touchdown and a 20-10 lead.

“It was my first sack, and it was amazing,” Carter said. “It would’ve been great if we could have had the win to come along with it.”

Carter said it was “just watching film, and seeing what’s going on” that led to the play, although the Giants backup center Kevin Boothe was in the game because of an injury to starter David Baas.  

RED-ZONE WOES

The Cardinals could have changed the complexion of the game early. They recovered an Ahmad Bradshaw fumble at the New York 16 on the game’s first possession, they reached the Giants’ 17 on their second possession and then had a third-and-1 at the New York 8 on their third possession.

That netted the Cards a total of six points, after they couldn’t reach the end zone and quarterback Kevin Kolb fumbled away the middle opportunity.

“That’s the difference in the game right there,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “We’ve got to get better at that.”

“It’s got to change,” Kolb said.

Fitzgerald was visibly frustrated. “They would have had to start throwing the ball more and it would have opened up things for our defense,” he said. “But we didn’t capitalize.”

BRIDGES GETS TACKLE TIME

Jeremy Bridges came in to play right tackle after starter Brandon Keith went out with a right knee sprain.

“That’s my role on this team right now, to keep my eyes on both those tackles,” Bridges said. “If anything happens I have to come in and perform.”

Keith – who was standing and watching on the sideline by the end of the game -- was the only injured player who left and did not return for the Cards.


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