Rams did not load up against Beanie Wells


The Arizona Cardinals' Beanie Wells gained four yards on three carries when the St. Louis Rams had eight more defenders in the box, according to Doug Clawson of ESPN Stats & Information.

Wells gained 224 yards on his remaining 24 carries.

Why wouldn't the Rams commit at least eight defenders near the line of scrimmage more frequently? Sounds like a good question for coach Steve Spagnuolo.

Coverage issues are certainly part of the thought process. The Rams have placed 10 cornerbacks on injured reserve this season. They need as many players in coverage as they can get. Wells gained 124 of his yards on two carries, suggesting assignment issues might have trumped manpower issues in some cases.

I wondered whether the Cardinals were springing Wells from pass-oriented personnel groupings that might have complicated efforts to commit additional defenders to the run. But Wells gained only 18 yards on five carries when the Cardinals had three or more wide receivers on the field, according to John McTigue of ESPN Stats & Information. One of those five attempts came against an eight-man box.

A few additional Wells-related notes, courtesy of Clawson:

  • Wells ran for 203 of his 228 yards between the tackles. That is the most rushing yardage gained between the tackles since Kansas City's Jamaal Charles had 214 against Denver in 2009.

  • The Rams' Brandon Lloyd had two receptions on throws traveling at least 15 yards past the line of scrimmage. He has eight receptions on such throws in seven games with the Rams. The team's other players have combined for only four such receptions.