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Paulie Pigskin’s Sideline Report: Cards win in St. Louis

Message Sent: What was the catalyst behind the
Ram-tough running game (268 yds) in St. Louis? Beanie
Wells confirmed what coaches told me before kickoff:
during a team meeting on Saturday night, the staff
challenged the offense – run the ball or else!

“That was something they told us, our coaches are
challenging us,” said Beanie Wells during our postgame
radio interview. “We gotta go out and respond. It’s
already bad enough that we get challenged from the
outside. Now, when our coaches have to challenge us, we
got to take that to heart and play well.”

After the game, I found it fitting that Beanie posed for a
snapshot with Steven Jackson. From where I was standing,
the only thing missing was a baton with the inscription –
“Most Feared RB in NFC West.”

Mr. Game Changer: Since the Cards own the dome (7
straight wins in STL), it’s easy to hear all the ambient
noise in the stadium (ie, crickets). Naturally, you
couldn’t miss the sideline shouting the nickname “Game
Changer” at Patrick Peterson after his splendicular punt
return for touchdown. (The only bad news? The grim
reality that my given moniker of Patrick “Just Gimme 5
Yards” Peterson just ain’t getting much traction right now
– dang!)

P-Twice Double Take: So, what did Patrick
Peterson say about an hour before kickoff that had the
Rams punter and kicker shaking their heads? Well, since
the broadcast crew was watching from the booth, we
presumed that the rookie was jokingly begging the Rams to
kick him the ball. No. In fact, just the opposite, as
Peterson revealed during our postgame radio interview: “I
just told him – ‘don’t kick it to me.’ He said, ‘we don’t
know what’s going to happen, you just wait until the game
comes.’ I said, ‘okay’… and that’s when they started
shaking their head.” Bottom line: the Rams can’t say
that Peterson didn’t give ’em fair warning, right?

P-Twice Thrice: Let’s talk about the play that
Patrick Peterson did NOT make. As an NFL head coach,
that’s the job of Ken Whisenhunt who, after heaping ample
praise on Mr. Game Changer, noted the following during our
postgame radio chat:

Coach W: Listen, I’m not going to doubt anything
he does right now, I just wish he’d held onto the ball on
the Wildcat play, cuz he might’ve scored on that one.

Paulie Pencilneck: That was open, that was
there?

Coach W: It was huge, it was huge. But, we’ll
keep working with it and maybe we’ll get him to hold onto
one of those.

P-Twice P.S.: Finally, when I asked Peterson
whether he was aware that he’s one punt return TD away
from breaking the NFL record for a single season, he
instantly responded: “I’m going for six. Yes, sir.”
#Ding.

“Acho Grande”: You know who are the truly smart
people in this world? Those folks who are smart enough to
know that they don’t know it all, right?! May we present
Sam Acho, who I’m always watching on the sideline talking
the earhole off super-veterans like Vonnie Holliday and
Clark Haggans. Not a series goes by where Acho isn’t
soliciting advice and suggestions.

“(Holliday) knows so much, so I always go to him for
advice. He’s actually one of the guys that really helps
me a lot on my pass rush and how to get better.” Acho
said. And look at Clark Haggans, he’s another guy who’s
played in the league a long time and done a great job.”

Pasch Factor: Finally, it’s worth noting that the
biggest shot of the game came before the game. No, we’re
not talking about some cheap shot taken during warm-ups.
We’re talking about an actual shot with a needle. A pain-
killing shot taken by Cards play-by-play man Dave Pasch
after he wrenched his neck playing a physical game of
wiffle ball with his kids. [Note: Yes, Dave, you’re
getting old(er). Or you’re swinging from the heels like
Mark Reynolds?!]

After the game, it sounded like Pasch was in full denial.
“I did it purely for Wolf’s enjoyment, since he’s been out
of the shot-taking business for almost two decades,” Pasch
said.

Much to my horror, Cards’ color analyst Ron Wolfley showed
Paulie Pain Medication an action photo of Pasch taking one
for the broadcast. Uh, let’s just say that we can confirm
that Dave wears boxers, not briefs. In other words, we’re
not going to post a photo with this story.

“Legendary,” said Wolfley. “The guy took a shot to do a
broadcast,” before Wolf added that “I told him to be a man
and get down there and get a shot.”