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Cards were 2 & 0 were coming off their second impressive win- this time vs. the Bears. After an impressive opening game win San Francisco was totally ripped apart by the Steelers.
Cardinal juggernaught rolls on with impressive dismembering of Forty Niners.
The Bottom Line:
(First of all,sardonic kudos to (1) SIRIUS for not broadcasting the audio of the game on Channel 93 and (2) DIrecTV for deleting the recording of the game from 5:00 remaining in the 2H to the conclusion). Cards opened up a 28 early lead on the backs of 2 PIck 6's and a lethal passing attack (hereeafter to be known as "The Carson & FItz Exravaganza) and continued to widen the lead until the score was 47 - 7 midway through the 4Q. For a Cardinal fan, I actually felt almost secure for most of the second half.
Cards received.TB on the KO. Cards moved past the forty on successive completions to Fitz (for +12 and +13 yards) but the attack stalled at the Niner 45. Butler's 32 yard punt was fair caught at the SF 15. On the third play of the Niner possession, Kapernick's pass was picked off by Bethel (who jumped the route) and returned for a 12-yard Cardinal TD. Cards 7 - Niners 0.
TB on the KO. On the fourth play from scrimmage, Kapernick's pass for Boldin was intercepted by Tyrann Mathieu (who also jumped the route( and returned for a 33 yard Cardinal TD. Cards 14 - Niners 0.
- TB on the KO. (Still oodles of time - 9:03 left in the 1Q - remaining). Niners remained discombobulated on offense and stuck pretty much to handoffs to Hyde that did not consistently get anywhere. They punted from their own 39
Punt was out of bounds at the Card 19. Palmer pecked away at the Niner defense and during a penalty-ridden 10-play drive finally made it to the Niner 1 as the quarter ended.
1st Quarter Score: Cards 14 - Niners 0.
After a false start by Veldheer moved us back from the one to the six, ChrisJohnson bulled his way up the middle for a 6-yard TD. Cards 21 - Niners 0.
SF returned the KO to theor own 19. Drive stalled in 5 plays at the SF 40. Peterson returned the punt to the Card 19. Palmer engineered a 9 play drive featurning a 30-yard run off RT by C Jphnson and capped by a nifty short pass and run by John Brown that set up a one-yard TD run up the middle by C Johnson. (We were up by +28. but we've been their before and have to be careful not to let our guard down late in the second quarter as we've done in the past). Cards 28 - Niners 0.
An offsides flag on the KO gave SF the ball at their own 25. An unsportsmanlike penalty on Patton stalled their possession and Pinion's punt was muffed by PP21 and rolled out of bounds at the Cardinal 20. 4:54 left till halftime. Cards went 3 & out. Niners returned the punt to the Cardinal 19. On the third play from scrimmage, Kaepernick scrambled around left end for a 12-yard TD. . Cardinals 28 - Niners 7.
2:03 left till the half. TB on the KO. Cards made it to the SF 44 (Key play was a 22-yard completion to John Brown). But on the 6th play from scrimmage, Palmer's pass(off his back foot) for Floyd was intercepted. Niners took over on their own 19. Fortunately, three plays later, Kaepernick was picked off by The Honey Bear with 0:30 on the clock. Cards reached the SF 4 but had to settle for a 22-yard Caqtanzaro FG with 0:01 on the clock. Cards took over on the Niner 25 and . Cards 31 - Niners 7.
First Half Score: Cards 31 - Niners 7.
SF received and returned the KO to their 20. On the first play from scrimmage, Kaepernick was intercepted for the 4th time (this time by Powers). Card ball on their own 42. A short pass and run (Palmer to C Johnson) picked up +40 yards and set up a short pass to Fitz for a 4-yard TD. Cards 38 - Niners 7.
TB on the KO. It continued to be All Hyde and Kaepernick and the Niners continued to get nowhere, A 7-yard sac by Rucker forced a Niner punt which was returned by Golden for 10-yards to the Card 27. They reached the Niner 36, but a sack (for minus-7) forced the Cards to punt. It was downed by Bethel at the SF one-yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, Minter nailed Hyde in the end zone for a safety. . Cards 40 - Niners 7.
Free kick was returned by PP21 to the Cardinal 32. Cards couldn't get past the Niner 40 and Butler's punt rolled into the end zone for a TB. Niners ran off 2 inconsequential plays to end the quarter.
Third Quarter Score: Cards 40 - Niners 7.
Woodley sacked Kaepernick for mInus-7 to set up a 56-yard punt that went out of bounds at the Cardinal 21 (*12:57 still left). The only thing missing from the afternoon was a long late drive to ice the game. Palmer didn't disappoint. He put together a 13-play (7:42) drive ending in an 8-yard short pass up the middle to FItz for the final score of the game. Other keey play of the drive was a 22-yard completion to Gresham. Cards 47 - Niners 7.
5:15 left. KO was returned to the SF 9. Kaepernick ran out of real estate after 11 plays and SF punted from their own 46. It was fair caught at the Card 15 by Golden. Stanton took 3 knees to end the game.
Final Score: Cards 47 - Niners 7
Passing: Palmer was 20 for 32 (311 yards, 2 TD's and 1 pick). Cards held Kaepernick to 9 for 19, 67 yards, zero TD's and 4 picks.
Takeaways: Cards +3: Kaepernick was picked off 4 times; Palmer once. Neither team coughed up a fumble.
Rushing: Chris Johnson carried 22 times for 110 yards and 2 TD's. David Johnson gained 25 yards on 7 carries. (Cards held Hyde to 51-yards on 15 carries).
Receiving: Fitz again led the receivers with 9 catches for 134 yards and 2 TD's. John Brown caught 3 passes for 62 yards.
Cardinal Run/Pass Ratio: . (Runs: 37 /Pass: 32). Niner Run/Pass Ratio: 19/32).
Card ball carriers averaged 3.8 yards on the ground. (Run defense gave up 3.6 ypc.)
Minter led the team with 8 tackles. R Johnson,Mathieu and Bucannonl had 5 apiece.
Rucker and Woodley were each credited with a sack, (Palmer was sacked once - ending the Cards' 2-week shutout record).
The Pick Boys: Mathieu (2 - one for a TD; Bethel (1 - for a TD); Powers (1)
Cards held the Niners' net rushing yards to 103.
Situational Efficiency: Cards converted 5 of 13 third downs (46%). Defense held the Niners to 4 of 12 (33%). Cards were 4 of 5 in the Red Zone (80%). N(iners were 1 of 1 for 100%)
Penalties: Niners were penalized 6 times for 45 yards (Cards were penalized 4 times for 24 yds).
Time of Possession: Cards 36:22- Niners 23:28
Palmer remained lethal when he had thr time.
Fitz has had a ridiculous 3-game streak where he's been on fire (Frankly, we never thought he had lost any of his mojo - it's just that opposing coverages are beginning to favor him).,
John Brown - while not perfect - continues to be Mr. Clutch.
No major injuries. And we still look forward to the return of Iupati and Ellington
The Michael Floyd catch that was nullified by penalty was a highlight-reel grab. n.
The Card O line finally gave up one sack. That's OK.
Game Prep (especially by the defense) was outstanding.
Game balls to the entire Cardinal secondary (but especially Badger and Beth).
And it wasn't just Bethel's pass defense - his special teams play was spectacular.
Congrats to C Johnson for being the first Card RB in a long, long time to gain more than a 100 yards. .
The Dark Side
The "Just Before Halftime" Jitters. (Let's get that monkey off our back)
Too many times when that toss-right sweep blows up in our backfield.
I know it's nitpicking but there was at least one play where CJ seemed to miss cutting diagonally through a wide open hole
An even shorter list this week than last (That's what happens when you win 48 - 23).
Seattle won. St. Louis lost. And, of course, San Francisco lost. But we still have 13 to play (with a very desperate St. Louis team (with a hard-hitting defense) next on our schedule. And face it, boys & girls: Seattle ain't goin' away. Got to keep the gas pedal to the floor, focus on upping our game and concentrate on playing to the high standard we've set up for ourselves. Onward!