Rookie running back Beanie Wells battered the Lions for 110 yards rushing on just 17 carries Sunday in a 31-24 win.
DETROIT – Beanie Wells wanted out of the locker room. Family and friends were waiting, in particular his baby son, and the Cardinals' rookie running back wanted a little more time with them before boarding a plane back to Arizona.
Wells was coming off his best game as a pro, the Cards' key offensive cog in a 31-24 win over the Lions, and his time was in demand. Wells, usually a man of few words anyway, had this thought over his performance: "There is more to come."
"I haven't hit the home run yet," Wells said with a grin, perhaps the only thing missing from his 110-yard, one-touchdown performance on just 17 carries.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt said he thought there were a couple of instances where Wells was going to get that long breakaway score. Instead, Wells provided a pair of signature fourth-quarter runs that anchored his day.
First was an 18-yard burst off the right side early in the fourth quarter for a touchdown that gave the Cards a 24-17 lead after the Lions had tied the game at 17. It was a a play in which Wells busted through a couple of tacklers near the goal line to eventually score standing up, and may have been helped by the Cards' fumbling issues.
"The guys did an excellent job blocking and I hit it," Wells said. "Guys weren't really trying to tackle. They were going after the ball."
The final huge play was a 34-yard run on the Cards' final possession, taking the ball to the Detroit 11 and setting up the game-winning touchdown catch by Anquan Boldin.
"We already have a lot of weapons," Boldin said, "but to have somebody running that hard, it adds a lot to this offense."
TOE OR NO, DRC SHINES
Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie wasn't wearing a shoe on his left foot after the game, since his turf toe continues to bother him. That's why, he said, he spun crazily out of bounds after his first interception Sunday.
"I couldn't run like I wanted to," Rodgers-Cromartie said.
But it didn't bother DRC's hands, after he made two interceptions to take the team lead with five this season. The second came with a 17-0 lead deep in Detroit territory, and it looked like it would lead to a game-sealing score – until the Lions got their own interception, returning it 100 yards to change the game.
"When that interception came we were thinking as a defense we had put it away, the way our offense is in the red zone," DRC said. "But they made a big play."
Veteran defensive lineman Bryan Robinson was flagged for two 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalties on the same play in the third quarter, taking the Lions from their own 37 to the Cardinal 33 when Detroit was down just three points. Eventually, the Lions scored a game-tying field goal on the drive.
Robinson said he was having a "conversation" with umpire Bruce Stritesky about the defensive holding call on teammate Gabe Watson on the Lions' previous offensive play, a 64-yard run by running back Maurice Morris.
"I wanted him to explain to me why Gabe got the holding penalty on the center when I am playing the same technique and you don't call it on me, what's the difference," Robinson said. "It was just a conversation with the umpire that went kind of wrong. I admit it, I probably said some things he didn't want to hear at the time."
Said Whisenhunt, "I believe there are two sides to every story and I don't know what happened but the official threw a flag. That's nothing we want to see. Something Bryan and I will talk about."
Punt returner Steve Breaston muffed a punt in the fourth quarter, allowing the Lions – down seven – to recover the ball at the Arizona 17. It turned out not to matter when the Cards' defense stuffed Jerome Felton on fourth-and-1 on the Cardinal 8, but it didn't make Breaston feel any better.
The fumble was Breaston's first on a punt in his three- year NFL career.
"Instead of stepping up and getting underneath it, it died on me, and I got my fingertips on it but I was never in good position," Breaston said. "I'm better than that. I pride myself on securing the football."
The Cardinals reported no injuries during the game. Wells came out late after apparently getting poked in the eye, but he was fine. Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald didn't have any problems with the knee that limited him in practice during the week.
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