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(Sunday, November 27th)
Final Score: Arizona 23, St. Louis 20
St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - It was a record-setting day for Arizona Cardinals running back Beanie Wells on Sunday.
Wells rushed for a career-high 228 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries, leading the Cardinals to a 23-20 win over the St. Louis Rams at Edward Jones Dome.
Wells set the Cardinals' single-game rushing mark on a 14-yard run late in the fourth quarter, passing LeShon Johnson's previous record of 214 yards in 1996.
Cornerback Patrick Peterson returned a punt 80 yards for a touchdown, giving him four on the season to tie an NFL record.
John Skelton threw for 114 yards and a pair of interceptions in his fourth consecutive start in place of Kevin Kolb, and Larry Fitzgerald caught three passes for 55 yards for the Cardinals (4-7), who have won seven consecutive games in St. Louis.
"It's obviously good to get the win," Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "I thought our defense played well all day. Offensively, even though we had our struggles, we were able to run the clock out and in a must-win situation, it was good to see our guys respond and get that done."
Sam Bradford completed 17-of-31 passes for 203 yards and a touchdown and Brandon Lloyd hauled in five balls for 74 yards and a score for the Rams (2-9), who have lost two straight.
With the game tied at 20 late in regulation, Arizona took the lead for good with an eight-play, 71-yard march that concluded with a 23-yard field goal from Jay Feely to account for the final margin.
St. Louis got the ball back with just over four minutes to play in regulation, but was forced to punt, and Arizona converted two big third downs to run out the remaining 3:14.
The Rams struck first with just over nine minutes to go in the opening quarter when Nate Miller fielded a punt at his own 12, picked up some good blocking and raced 88 yards to paydirt to give his team a 7-0 lead.
The Cardinals cut it to a four-point game with under a minute left in the first quarter when Feely connected on a 29-yard field goal, which was set up by a 71-yard run by Wells.
Later in the second quarter, the Rams moved down to the Arizona three-yard line thanks to completions of 22 and 26 yards to Brandon Gibson and Lloyd, respectively during an 11-play, 63-yard drive. But a false start penalty and a sack moved the ball back to the 17, where Brown was good on a 35-yard field goal with just seconds remaining before halftime to give his team a 10-3 lead.
The Cardinals again cut the lead to four on their first possession of the second half. Skelton led an eight-play, 61-yard drive down to the Rams' 14, where they faced a 4th-and-1. The Cardinals went for it, but were flagged on a false start penalty, moving the ball back to the 19 and Feely was good from 37 yards out to make it 10-6.
On the ensuing Rams' drive, the Cards' defense came up with a big turnover as Bradford went short to the right for Lance Kendricks, but he fumbled and it was recovered by Sam Acho at the Rams' 28.
Arizona took full advantage of the good field position by going 28 yards in six plays. Wells went up the middle for a seven-yard touchdown run to give the Cardinals a 13-10 lead.
Peterson's record-tying punt return for a score with 2:56 to go in the third quarter gave the Cardinals a 20-10 edge.
On the Rams' next drive, they moved the ball down to the Cards' 30 with an eight-play, 49-yard drive and Brown connected on a 48-yard field goal to make it 20-13.
St. Louis' defense came up with a big defensive stop with just over nine minutes to go in the game when Wells put the ball on the turf and it was recovered by Brady Poppinga at the Arizona 43.
Bradford hit Kendricks for 24 yards on 2nd-and-7 and then found Lloyd in the corner of the end zone for a 16-yard touchdown strike on the next play to tie the game at 20.
"Very disappointing loss," Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "Parts of it I'd say we're in there battling and yet we made too many mistakes and end up losing the football game."
Arizona holds a 33-31-2 lead in this long-played series...Whisenhunt owns a 9-1 record against the Rams since taking over in 2007, while Spagnuolo is 1-5 against Arizona for his career...Miller's TD was the third-longest punt return for a touchdown in Rams franchise history...Wells' 71-yard run was a new career-high...Acho finished with three tackles and two sacks...Arizona converted 4-of-12 third down chances, while St. Louis managed only 3-of-13 on third down conversions.
11/27 18:49:48 ET