Cardinals ran the ball well when they actually ran the ball

Sep 19, 2011, 9:33 PM | Updated: 11:04 pm

The Arizona Cardinals averaged 6.2 yards per carry Sunday, nearly one-and-a-half yards per carry better than their opponent.

However, the Washington Redskins picked up 172 yards on 35 carries, whereas the Cardinals tallied just 93 on 15.

And of those 15 just three came in the first half, helping the Cards head into the intermission with just seven points.

“We can’t play like we played in the first half, obviously,” running back Beanie Wells said. “Once we have our minds set, be it running the ball, passing the ball, we can be a very effective football team.”

Unfortunately for the Cardinals, it took them a while to realize the running game could work in Washington.

“We knew that we could get what we wanted to on the outside,” quarterback Kevin Kolb said, “so maybe we got a little bit greedy early, myself included.”

Greedy, maybe. Or it could be that the team has a pass-first mentality. That’s fine, but a dominant ground game would make the offense better and Kolb’s job easier, something the QB noted.

“He’s obviously a huge part of our offense,” the QB said of Wells. “It helps me out and it helps the offensive line out.

“So we have to make sure that we do that early on and impose our will.”

The good news for the Cardinals is that the running game, when turned to, was productive. Wells seemed to be picking up good chunks of yardage nearly every time he touched the ball in the second half, giving the team another weapon on offense.

As long as they get a chance to use him.

“We didn’t have a lot of opportunities in the first half,” head coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “In the second half we got into a package where we were having success with it, it was giving them problems, and Beanie ran the ball very well.

“You’d like to start out a little better than we did, but we didn’t, and that’s something that we’re going to continue to work on.”

Whisenhunt said if Wells keeps running the way he has they’ll be alright, which is true.

Provided, of course, they give him the ball.

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Cardinals ran the ball well when they actually ran the ball