The Cardinals were able to take revenge for Arizona as they beat the 49ers, 47-7.
The Arizona Cardinals faced a big challenge, not only did they have a 2-0 record to defend, but they needed to beat a California team, the San Francisco 49ers, in order to do it. In three different games this weekend Arizona lost to a team from California. On Saturday the Diamondbacks lost to the San Diego Padres, University of Arizona lost to UCLA, and ASU lost to USC.
The stats of the quarterbacks tell the story:
- Carson Palmer: 20-for-32 with 311 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
- Colin Kaepernick: 9-for-19 with 67 yards and four interceptions; 46 yards rushing.
For Arizona it was a story of a team that has things clicking in all facets of the game, even when their opening drive ended on a punt, the Cardinals defense stepped up and when the defense gives up a touchdown.
Sep 27, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals cornerback Justin Bethel (28) returns an interception 21 yards for a touchdown during the first half against the San Francisco 49ers at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
The scoring for the Cardinals started on the 49ers’ third play on offense. Facing a 3rd and 11, quarterback Colin Kaepernick, threw his first touchdown pass, but it was not to a 49er. Justin Bethel picked off the pass in his first defensive snap of the year, returning it for a 21-yard pick-six. On the proceeding 49er possession, Kaepernick got a first down, but on 2nd and 9 threw his second interception of the game. Tyrann Mathieu picked off the pass and took it 33-yards for another defensive touchdown.
The Cardinals’ offense did not even need to step back on the field, but they did and they made the most of it. When the quarterback Carson Palmer went back on the field for the offenses second possession, it was 14-0. On a ten play, 81-yard drive, Palmer found Larry Fitzgerald often, leading to a Chris Johnson 2-yard touchdown run. After another 49er punt, Palmer took the team on another 81-yard drive, ending the drive with a one-yard C. Johnson touchdown.
Sep 27, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) scores a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
The 49ers only points of the game came when Drew Butler’s punt went only 33 yards, with little to no hang time, allowed Jarryd Hayne to return it to the Cardinals’ 19-yard line. Kaepernick found Anquan Boldin for 14 yards setting up a 1st and goal for the 49ers. On second down, Kaepernick ran 12-yards for the touchdown.
The Cardinals have struggled ending the first half, and looked like they would continue that after Palmer was intercepted at the Cardinal 19. Thankfully for Cardinals fans, the defense stepped up and got their third interception of the game. They finished the half with a field goal and lead 31-7.
When the 49ers got the ball to start the second half, it only took one play for Kaepernick to throw his fourth interception of the game. The interception lead to a Cardinal’s touchdown when Palmer found Fitzgerald in the end zone, giving Arizona a 38-7 lead. The 49ers and Cardinals punt on their next possessions, but Arizona was able to pin San Francisco at the one-yard line. On the first play from deep in their own territory, the 49ers cannot get the ball out of the end zone as Kevin Minter forced the safety. The Cardinals add a touchdown in the fourth quarter as Palmer finds Fitzgerald yet again.
Sep 27, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) makes a catch as San Francisco 49ers cornerback Kenneth Acker (20) defends during the first half at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
The Cardinals’ offense seems to be hitting on all cylinders; Larry Fitzgerald has five touchdowns in two games, and had another 134 yards in this game, Carson Palmer continues to light up the field with awesome accuracy, and the combination of David Johnson and Chris Johnson have reshaped the Cardinals ground game. On defense, Mathieu is looking better than ever with two interceptions in this game, and the rush defense holds one of the best rushing quarterbacks to less than 50 yards.
This Cardinals team is something special, breaking records set in the mid to early 1900s. Today was the first time since 1969 they have scored 40 plus points in back-to-back games. The season is still young and this team has not proved their final point yet, but they have proved they are the real deal this season.
Arizona is now 3-0 as they look ahead to next Sunday as they host the St. Louis Rams. The Rams are coming off back-to-back losses to the Washington Redskins and Pittsburgh Steelers, a 1-2 record on the season; it will be another big game for the Cardinals.
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