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The Setup
Both teams carried dismal 1 & 6 recodrs. Arizona had beaten the Niners in their last encounter. Cards were coming off a "mini Bye Week" created by being scheduled on a Thursday Nifght FB contest vs. Denver. Since Arizona was looking forward to a regular Bye Week, this game vs. SF represented a lonely game in an extended time off period. Cards had made a significant QB coaching change, replacing Mike McCoy with Byron Leftwich. Question of the Day - "Was the first win over SF an accident or legit?

Lede
Rosen Leads Cards to 18 - 15 Comeback Win.

Down 5 - 3 at halftime in a very unclassic "pitchers' dual", Josh Rosen engineered two 4th quarter TD drives (plus a siginficant 2-pt conversion) to eke out an eleventh-hour win over the Forty-Niners.


The Bottom Line:
The answer is: "No!" (The question is: "As we neared the 2:00 mark, did I think we were going to win this one "

The Cardinals had won their first encounter with the Niners via the turnover route (finding themselves statistically whomped in just about every category but enjoying a 5 - 0 edge in takeaways). By contrast, Arizona's play in Game #2 was characterized by penalties and various mental-letdowns, but bailed out by a stingy "take no prisoners" defense who kept the Cards in the football game long enough to set the stage for Rosen's two 4th quarter TD drives.

Game Log
The team and the league continue to have trouble integrating game log information with the new Team and League web pages, so we can only provide you with partial numerical info. (Credit to the Cards web guys for providing play-log info; while most teams don't have a clue as to how to do this).

1st Quarter
  • 15:00: Cards win toss/"defer." KO returned to SF 20. Minus-2 yds. +6 yds. Sack (caused by C Jones, credited to Golden). Punt returned to Card 36 3 & out. Punt returned to SF 25. A sack by C Jones appears to stymie SF drive, but C Jones penalized for offsides.Later in the possession, Bethea sacks Beathard for minus-9 yds to end the drive. Punt fair caught at Card 5.

  • 4:17: On 3rd down, Rosen is nailed in the end zone and penalized for intentional grounding. Ruled a safety. Niners 2 - Cards 0.

  • 4:07: Free kick returned to SF 43. On the 3rd play of the SF possession, Z Moore sacks Beathard for minus-5 yds. Punt fair caught at Card 9.

  • 1:56: Johnson runs for +& yds to negate a Wetzel penalty and pick up an AZ 2st down. rosen hits Edmunds for +12 yds to end the quarter. Niners 2 - Cards 0.
    1st Quarter Score: Niners 2 - Cards 0
    2nd Quarter
  • 15:00: Cards appear to be ready to go 3 & out but Defensive PI penalty extends Cardinal drive. Ball at SF 39. rosen hits C Williams for +14. Rosen is sacked for minus-3. Rosen hits Johnson for +15 yds to SF 13. On 4th & 5 at the SF 8, Cards are flagged for delay of game. Ball moved back to SF 13 - 4th & 10;

    10:27 - Dawson is good from 31. Cards 3 - Niners 2

    10: 23: TB on KO. On 2nd down, Beathard hits Kittle for +20. Niners possession goes nowhere (Crowd noise said to create 2 SF false start flags) Punt O-O-B at Card 21.

    7:47: False start flag (Seal-Jones) makes it 3rd & 6 at AZ 25. Rosen's pass for Kirk is intercepted by Tartt at Card 35 and returned to Card 12.

    6:13: Sf can't get anything going (Bynes having a big game) and - stalled at the Card 9 - were forced to kick a 27 yd FG . Niners 5 - Cards 3.

    4:32: TB on KO. A 15-yd completion to D Johnson is partly negated by Sherman's sack of Rosen.A short pass to Kirk (+14 yds) picks up a 1st down at the 2:00 warning. Rosen then hits Johnson for +12 yds at the SF 36. Johnson then stopped for minus-1 followed by an incompletion and a sack. Punt fair caught at SF 8

    0:35: Nada. End of half

  • Halfitme Score: Niners 5 - Cards 3

3rd Quarter

15:00 Cards receive - TB on KO. 3 & out. (Johnson-Johnson-Incomplete).

13:29: Punt returned to SF 29. Reddick flagged for face mask to wipe out a no-gain by Beathard. Three more snaps and a punt. Fair catch at Card 14.

11:37: Rosen picks up a first down on a 1-yd 3rd down scramble but falls short of the 1st down marker on a pass to Fitz. Cards punt - fair catch muffed but recovered by SF at their own 30 (Joe Walker was "this close" at recovering for the Cards).

7:48: Beathard hits Kittle for +11 yds. Beathard hits Goodwin (who beat Peaterson on a slant)

6:22: TB on KO. Rosen to Fitz on first play for +11 yds. Then 3 & out. Punt returned to SF 25.

4:47: Niners pick up a quick 1D (Completion to Kittle). Two plays later, Morris rambles around RE for +26 yds. A few plays after that, Beathard picks up another 2st down with a 10-yd completion to Kittle. Quarter runs out. Niners 12 - Cards 3.

  • Third Quarter Score: Niners 12 - Cards 3.
4th Quarter

15:00 - Niners start out at Cardinal 4, but are forced to settle for a 20-yd FG. Niners 15 - Cards 3.

13:33: TB on KO. A 6-yd completion to Gresham extends the 3-play drive. Rosen then hit Fitz for +37 yds with a rushing the passer penalty tacked on. .

11:11: Rosen hits Fitz for a 13-yd TD. (XP Good). Niners 15 - Cards 10.

11:06: TB on KO. With a holding penalty on SF, It looked as if Cards could hold SF to 3 & out, but - on a 4th & 1, Beathard was able to sneak it over for a 1st down at the SF 45. On the next play, Peterson had nice breakup of pass to Goodwin followed by Bynes' breakup of a pass to Taylor. Punt fair caught at Card 17.

6:52: Started out with Nelson on an end around for +8 followed by a runs by Johnson (for +13) Following Johnson (for +5) run negated when Gresham flagged for "below waist" call. Rosen then scrambled for +9.

4:56: Weird play involving Gresham gaining serious yardage around LE only to fumble the ball along the left side line - frantically swatting at the ball as he rolled in and out of bounds - was eventually ruled a fumble, recovered by SF (Warner). Niner ball.

4:44: Niners picked up a 1st down and were moving crisply until Baker and Gunter sacked Beathard for minus-8 yds. Punt went O-O-B at Card 27.

2:16: After 2 incomletions, Rosen hit Fitz for +11 yds and a 1st down. After the 2:00 time out, he hit Fitz again for +20 to the SF 42. After one incompletion, Rosen hit Kirk for +19 yds. With 1:24 on the clock at the Niner 23, the Cards took another one of those all-to-typical "illegal substitution" penalties.

1:24: 2nd & 15 at the SF 28 - Rosen hit Seals-Jones for +13 yds. Then C Williams for +7 yds and then - after an incompletion and a minus-1 yd completion to Johnson - Rosen hit Kirk for a 9-yd TD to take the lead. Cards opted to go for 2, and Rosen to Fitz was good at the left stanchion to make it Cards 18 - Niners 15.

0:34: TB on KO. Beathard dinked and dunked the Niners down to the Cards 49, but 2nd & 10 at the Card 45 with :07 on the clock (& one shot at moving into field goal range) Magnuson's snap went over Beathard's head and blew up the final play. Cards win!

Final Score: Cards 18 - Niners 15.

Notable Game Stats.

  • Total Net Yards: Cards 321 - Niners 267

    Penalties: Cards 9 for 62- Niners 5 for 59

    Time of Possession: Cards 27:49 - Niners 32:19

    Passing: Rosen - 23 for 40, 252 yds, 2 TD, 1 Interceptions)

    Rushing: Johnson 16 carries for 59 yds.Edmunds 2 carries for 9 yds

    Receiving: Fitz - 8 (102 yds), DJ - 4 (41 yds)Kirk - 3 (42 yds)

    Sacked: Cards 3 / Niners: 4

    Fumbles Lost: Cards 1/ Niners 0

    Interceptions - Niners 1; Cards 0.

Bright Spots

  • Rosen looking more and more comfortable (Less thinking/better results)

  • The greater the clutch situation, the more Rosen resembles "Cool Hand Luke."

  • Our second win

  • A clutch come from behind win

  • Bynes quietly establishing himself as top-notch Mike backer

  • Defense deadly on surprise blitzes

  • Over and over throughout the first three quarters of the game, it was offense bogging down with the defense saving their bacon.

  • Leftwich has opened up the offense a wee bit more and

The Dark Side

  • Slow start offensively

    Not crazy about our TE play (Gresham and Seals-Jones (Penalties, dropped passes undermine occasional big plays)

    Run defense shows it sometimes can get the job done - it just has to do it more consistently.

    The rush offense, while better, still isn't where it should be. .

Last Word:
Here's why this game was huge: Instead of focusing on "what went wrong", the Cards on both sides of the ball will have plenty of opportunity during Bye Week to watch tape and build confidence in "what went right" and how to do more of that (i.e. You've got to believe that Josh Rosen is going to feel a lot more confident throwing toward Fitz after watching Larry grab 8 passes in the Niner game. And you've got to figure that Bubba B will play with more swag off the experience of making more big plays in the enemy backfield.

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Copyright 1996 Gollin & Associates. Last modified: 11/26/2012