Hightower-Wells Duo Set for Big Game

The Cardinals feature one of the most prolific passing offenses in the league. With Kurt Warner in the control tower and Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston as the targets, Arizona usually can't go wrong diverting its flight plan to the air. But Arizona's running game needs more chances to grow. The Rams are the perfect opponent to let Tim Hightower and Beanie Wells battle it out.

The Cardinals will utilize both of their weapons on the ground against the St. Louis Rams. Rookie running back Beanie Wells is building momentum and Tim Hightower is doing enough to keep his starting job.

Wells inches closer to the century mark in each passing game. He posted his best results against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 10, rushing for 85 yards and two touchdowns. His per carry average has been impressive for four-straight weeks. He averaged nearly 6 yards per carry in the loss to the Panthers in Week 8.

Hightower, historically, does well in St. Louis. His showing in 2008 is still the best game of his career. Hightower earned the starting nod over Edgerrin James in Week 9 last season and rushed for 109 yards and one touchdown in St. Louis. He's yet to break the century mark on the ground since. Although he's done so in total yards and in passing yards.

With Wells playing like he is, Hightower needs to shine once again in the Midwest. He once again needs to prove that he is the right guy for the starting role.

The Rams run defense is ripe for the picking. The Rams gave up 203 rushing yards against the New Orleans Saints last week. The Rams lost the game, 29-23, which is a much closer margin than most would have expected. Except for the Rams.

"That was disappointing and the explosive runs were the things that were disappointing to me and to us as a defensive staff," Rams Defensive Coordinator Ken Flajole said. "I know that the players feel the same way we do and we've just got to continue to try to work and get it squared away."

Beanie Wells
(Getty)

Flajole sees similarities in the Saints and the Cardinals. The Saints have also made an emphasis in their ground game.

"I think Arizona is doing the same thing right now too and they've got both those backs, (RB Tim) Hightower and (RB) Beanie Wells that are both playing well for them," Flajole said. "I think they are feeding them the ball a little more, now realizing that those guys give them something, giving them a dimension maybe that they haven't had in years past."

The Rams look to take away that dimension.

"In my opinion, if you don't stop the run it doesn't make any difference," Flajole said. "You've got to make a team one-dimensional and if you can get them into predictable situations, I think that is always to the offenses advantage because now play-action becomes a factor; you can't take the predictability factor away from them like that if they are running the football. Even though people say they do a great job throwing the ball, which they do, we've still got to be able to stop the run."


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