Tim Hightower and Beanie Wells, Arizona Cardinals Tandem Heating Up

Chris FarmerCorrespondent ISeptember 21, 2009

JACKSONVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 20:  Beanie Wells #26 of the Arizona Cardinals runs for yardage during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on September 20, 2009 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

During the first drive of the Week 2 game for the Arizona Cardinals, Beanie Wells was inserted into the lineup and ran very effectively. Had he not fumbled he may have been on his way to many more carries. Instead, the fumble was recovered by teammate Anthony Becht at the 1-yard line, Wells was replaced with Tim Hightower who punched it in for the score on the next play.

Wells was not yanked for good, he was given more chances to tote the rock and again flashed star potential, finishing with 44 yards on a mere seven carries for an outstanding 6.3 yards per carry average. Yet he fumbled once more, something he will have to work hard on before he will be trusted to take on more of a workload.

This is a developing tandem that has tremendous upside. Hightower, who finished with 72 yards on 15 carries for a respectable 4.8 yards per carry average himself, has been criticized for not being able to break off long runs. This is somewhat of a farce, as both ball carriers produced 17-yard runs yesterday, yet it is clear that Wells is the more explosive of the two and it is only a matter of time before he pops off a 50 yarder.

While Wells’ strength is explosion, Hightower’s is determination. Time and time again the Cardinals rely on him to make the crucial short yardage gain, as they did versus the Jaguars. Faced with a fourth and short just inside Jacksonville territory, it was a screen pass to Hightower to complete the conversion once more.

No matter how the ratio of touches is divvied, a situation that could change from week to week, it is clear this tandem will play a crucial role for the Arizona Cardinals this season.

This article also appears on NFLTouchdown.com