Week 13 Game Recap: Arizona Cardinals 17, San Francisco 49ers 10
What you need to know
Arizona earned their fourth win of the season behind a big day from QB Kurt Warner and his big play wideouts, Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald.
Warner threw for 354 yards and a touchdown, and had another score wiped out when TE Adam Bergen dropped a would-be score. He led the club on three scoring drives that all ended in field goals, as the Cardinals red zone offense continued to struggle converting third downs.
Rookie running back J.J. Arrington got the start with Marcel Shipp nursing an injury, and was steady, but unspectacular, running for 59 yards on 18 carries. He was also involved in the passing game with three receptions for 16 yards.
Anquan Boldin led the team in receiving with 11 catches for 156 yards and a touchdown, and Larry Fitzgerald chipped in eight receptions for 129 yards. Collectively, they abused the 49ersí defensive backfield and both continued to be steady fantasy players.
Safety Adrian Wilson led the club with six tackles, one assist, and one sack, and S Robert Griffity, LB James Darling and DB Eric Green all had interceptions, with the latter coming after the two minute warning and ending any hopes the 49ers had in coming back.
Rookie Alex Smith had a terrific first half, and a brutal second half, and finished 16 of 24 for 185 yards passing. He led his club on a scoring drive of 85 yards in the second quarter that resulted in a 49ersí touchdown, but had no luck in the second half at all. He was intercepted three times following the half, and had only 47 yards passing in the second session.
Running backs Maurice Hicks and Frank Gore filled in for the injured Kevan Barlow, but combined to run for only 39 yards on 16 carries. Hicks did score the only San Francisco touchdown on a one yard run in the second quarter, but the duo was shut down outside of that.
Johnnie Morton led the team in receiving, with 66 yards on three catches; including two big plays of over 20 yards that helped set up the Hicks score. Brandon Lloyd led the club with five receptions, and was targeted the most, with six.
Defensive back Keith Lewis blocked a punt that led to a Joe Nedney field goal before the half, and also had an interception in the fourth quarter. LB Derek Smith led the defense with nine tackles and two assists.
What you ought to know
|QB Kurt Warner, Pass: 29 - 45 - 354 - 1 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 3 - -5 - 0|
Warner torched the 49ersí secondary for 354 yards passing and a 54 yard touchdown pass to WR Anquan Boldin that proved to be the difference in the game. He also had another potential touchdown pass that was dropped by his tight end, Adam Bergen. The Arizona quarterback did make a few mistakes, throwing two interceptions, but neither of the turnovers ended up hurting the Cardinals. Without a true presence in the running game, Warner dropped back and threw 45 passes for the game and, as a result, put up some nice fantasy numbers.
J.J. Arrington carried the load without starting back Marcel Shipp in the lineup, and continued to show some progress, running for 59 yards on 18 carries, and catching three passes out of the backfield for 16 yards.
Ayanbadejo was not much of a factor, with 11 yards rushing on two attempts. He did have two receptions for eight yards, and also had a two point conversion run in the fourth quarter that extended the Arizona lead to seven.
Boldin was just a monster. He finished with 11 catches for 156 yards, including a 54 yard touchdown on which he broke about five tackles and rumbled for the score. The San Francisco defensive backfield just had no answer for either Boldin or his counterpart, Larry Fitzgerald. Boldin was Warnerís favorite target, getting 16 passes thrown his way.
Fitzgerald had another productive day, hauling in eight passes for 129 yards. He was targeted 12 times for the game and continues to be a consistent fantasy receiver.
Johnson was not a big factor, catching three balls for 28 yards, and was targeted only four times for the game.
McCoy had one reception for ten yards.
Edwards finished with one catch for seven yards.
Novak filled in for the injured Neil Rackers and came through for the Cardinals, connecting on all three of his field goal attempts from distances of 30, 35 and 19 yards.
The Cardinalsí rush defense did a good job stuffing the run, although the 49ers didnít choose to do so much for the game. They gave up only 51 yards on 20 attempts, for a 2.5 yard per carry average. San Francisco was without starting running back Kevan Barlow, and his replacements failed to do much to fill his void. Arizonaís rush defense did give up a score on the ground on a one yard run by Maurice Hicks.
In the first half, they were picked apart by rookie QB Alex Smith, who threw for 138 yards and completed 11 of 12 passes, including eight of his first eight attempts. They gave up two 24 yard plays to WR Johnnie Morton, and another to RB Frank Gore that set up the only 49ersí touchdown.
|QB Alex Smith, Pass: 16 - 24 - 185 - 0 TD / 3 INT, Rush: 4 - 12 - 0|
It was another tough game for Smith. The rookie quarterback looked good in the first half, throwing for 138 yards on 11 of 12 passing, but completed only five of 12 passes for 47 yards and three interceptions in the second half. One of his interceptions was thrown into triple coverage, and his third came under two minutes in the game and ended any chance San Francisco had to tie the game on their last drive.
Hicks received four more carries than Gore with ten, but ran for only 17 yards on the ground. He did have the only San Francisco touchdown, scoring on a one yard run in the second quarter. Hicks also caught three balls for eight yards.
|RB Frank Gore, Rush: 6 - 22 - 0, Rec: 1 - 31 - 0 (1 targets)|
Gore split carries with Maurice Hicks, and led the team in rushing with 22 yards on six carries, and had one reception for 31 yards. He did have a big fumble that led to the Warner to Boldin touchdown.
Jackson was not a big factor, with one reception for ten yards.
Lloyd led the club with six targets, and caught five passes for 47 yards for the game.
Morton led the club with 66 yards receiving on three catches.
McAddley had two catches for 16 yards, but was second on the team with five targets.
Jones finished with one reception for seven yards.
Nedney made good on his only extra point attempt, and hit a field goal from 48 yards out.
The 49ers werenít bad against the run, giving up only 65 yards on 23 rushes, for a 2.8 average. Arizona didnít put much of an emphasis on the running game, so those numbers could be deceiving.
The San Francisco pass defense had no answer for the Cardinalsí passing game and their talented wideouts. Arizona torched the 49ersí secondary for 354 yards through the air, and Anquan Boldin ran through literally half of the San Francisco defense on his touchdown in the fourth that proved to be the difference. The 49ersí defensive backs were lit up to the tune of 19 receptions for 285 yards between Boldin and Fitzgerald, including the aforementioned Boldin touchdown.