Image Credit: The Chronicle
The San Francisco 49ers came into Sunday’s game against the Arizona Car\dinals looking to bounce back after their loss against the Seattle Seahawks, and try and sweep both games this season.
Injuries and youth seemed to show a bit as the 49ers seemed to have similar problems defending against screen plays. The first drive of the game belonged to Arizona, but a defensive pass interference call against CB Richard Sherman gave AZ a big opportunity. The defense held pat though and the Cardinals were forced to settle for a field goal.
The 49ers offense didn’t fare much better on their first drive, going three-and-out after an errant incomplete pass to WR Deebo Samuel.
The Niners defense seemed to have no answers for the Cardinals offense. QB Kyler Murray seemed to move the ball at will. Completewling passes to WRs Christian Kirk and Pharaoh Cooper as well as TE Charles Clay. The Cardinals second drive ended with a 5-yard pass to WR Larry Fitzgerald.
The team seemed to wake up as the first half dwindled down. A great catch and run by Richie James set up a 49ers touchdown, and a field goal in the final seconds gave them a 10-16 score at the half.
The energy from the end of the previous half continued on into the second. The 49ers came out in the first drive and through great play calling and execution got down into the Cardinals red zone. Ross Dwelley caught his second touchdown pass of the game and gave the 49ers the lead, 17-16.
On the following series, WR Emmanuel Sanders took a hard hit on 3rd-and-12 that aggravated his previous rib cartilage injury. The 49ers appeared to be getting ready to score again before QB Jimmy Garoppolo threw an interception after a defender jumped a route and ran it back for 48-yards. The 49ers defense was able to hold though and kept the AZ offense out, having to settle for a 43-yard field goal giving the Cardinals a 19-17 lead.
Late in the game, the injuries started to pile up. Samuel, Dee Ford and Williams all sustained injuries of varying degree.
It’s clear that the injuries shone a light on some of the depth issues and the lack of execution has only highlighted that, but if the 49ers want to continue competing at the top of the NFL, they will need to tighten down their execution and game plans.
49ers Win 36-26
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