Updated Dec 30, 2013 - 8:37 am
Notes from the Nest: Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers
The kick is good. Cardinals finish their season 10-6. Time to head downstairs.
:2 left in fourth quarter
Kaepernick hits Quinton Patton on a ridiculous throw, and the Niners have it at the Arizona 22. Dawson comes in for a 40-yard field goal attempt.
:25 left in fourth quarter
Good kick return gets out to the San Fran 40.
:29 left in fourth quarter
And Jay Feely nails the 43-yard field goal attempt to tie the game at 20.
1:07 left in fourth quarter
Palmer hits Housler deep down the middle, and it's Arizona at their own 45. This is fun.
Still 1:45 left in fourth quarter
Kickoff sails deep into the end zone. And the drive will start from the 20.
1:45 left in fourth quarter
Defense holds but Dawson comes in and nails a 56-yard field goal. 49ers go back on top, 20-17. Cardinals have two timeouts, though, so still plenty of time.
49ers have moved the ball to the Arizona 38. Another few yards and they're in field goal range, and that's all it would take to win this one. Can the D come up with a big play?
3:14 left in fourth quarter
Niners begin drive from their 21. Cardinals have momentum, but San Fran has the ball.
3:20 left in fourth quarter
Facing 3rd and long, Palmer lofts a perfect pass to Andre Roberts in the corner of the end zone. The receiver comes down with the ball and it's ruled a touchdown, though it's going to be close on the review. TD or not, what a throw. Wow.
And it's a TD.
5:48 left in fourth quarter
Defense holds with the help of Dan Williams' first career sack. Dave Burns, who is sitting to my left, just announced he is closing his Saints/Bucs gamecast. Ahh well..
Cards take over at their own 40.
7:39 left in fourth quarter
Another drive stalls, another field goal attempt misses. Not Jay Feely's best game, that's for sure. San Francisco takes over at its own 33.
11:56 left in fourth quarter
San Francisco moves the ball some but ends up kicking away. Cardinals have it at their own nine, down by one score. In other news, the Saints are not going to lose to the Buccaneers, so the playoffs are out of the question.
14:47 left in fourth quarter
Drive stalls but Feely converts a 49-yard field goal. It's a one score game now, with the Niners up 17-10.
End of third quarter
The Cardinals are in the middle of another good drive, one helped by a two yard gain on 4th and 1. When we pick up play it will be 2nd and 8 from the San Francisco 31. Needless to say, down 17-7 points are a must on this drive.
3:56 left in third quarter
Is there anything left to say about Arizona's defense? They hold on 3rd and 1 and force another punt. They've kept the Cardinals in the game, which has been the recipe for the majority of the season. Generally the offense shows up at some point. Now would be a good time, as the return gives them the ball at the 15.
6:04 left in third quarter
Cardinals get a huge pass from Palmer to Floyd, but go nowhere from there and come up short on fourth and six from the 36. Would have been a long field goal attempt, but certainly within Feely's range. Did his previous miss make Bruce Arians hesitant? Who knows.
Anyway, the teams just traded empty possessions. Niners ball.
Still 8:49 left in third quarter
Ruling stands, Cards' ball at their own 15.
8:49 left in third quarter
The 49ers move the ball and then go for it on 4th and 1, but come up an inch or two short on a run. Jim Harbaugh is challenging the spot, but that's a tough one to overturn. If the call holds, the fumble will have cost the Cardinals only time and yardage, not points.
Still 11:35 left in third quarter
Ruling on the field is confirmed. Big, big turnover.
11:35 left in third quarter
A first down on a nice catch by Fitz is followed up by a Mendenhall fumble. Niners recover and would have the ball at the Arizona 37. Looks like a fumble on the replay, but it is under review.
13:13 left in third quarter
Cardinals catch a break when Kaepernick does not see a wide open Michael Crabtree, instead throwing the ball out of bounds down the field. The punt bounces into the end zone, and the Cardinals take over at their 20. A scoring drive here would make things interesting.
14:54 left in third quarter
Niners will begin their drive from the 26. Worth noting that the Cards' defense has been much better in the second halves of games this season. Key to get off to a fast start and get the offense back on the field.
:20 left in second quarter
Ask and you shall receive! Cards get the stop and then Dawson misses from 24 yards out. Cards take over with little time left nad two timeouts, but appear content to head into the half down 17-7. Makes sense to me. Could be better, could be worse.
:31 left in second quarter
It's 2nd and 6 from the 6 as the Niners take a timeout. Last week, a goalline stand at the end of the first half helped propel the Cardinals. Given the score, they could use another one here.
2:00 left in second quarter
The Cardinals didn't get a stop, and a few plays later the Niners have the ball at the Arizona 16. The most recent play was a 14-yard pass to tackle Joe Staley, who was an eligible receiver. It was...umm...interesting, to say the least.
Injury update: Ta'amu has a right knee injury and his return is questionable.
4:07 left in second quarter
The 49ers are facing a 3rd and 6 but for the moment play has stopped as Alameda Ta'amu lies on the ground in a bit of pain. Looks like a leg issue for the nose tackle/fullback.
As for the game, a stop here would get the Cardinals the ball back with some time to get another score before the half. Can the defense hold?
4:46 left in second quarter
To say that last drive was huge would be an understatement. WIth the help of a 49-yard pass to Fitzgerald (a beauty, might I add), the Cardinals finally punch it in. It happened on a fourth and one pass from Palmer to Jake Ballard, and it only got to that point because Rob Housler dropped a sure TD.
17-7 Niners, but the Cardinals have some life.
10:30 left in second quarter
Defense forces another punt and really seems to be finding itself. Ball is fair caught at the Arizona 12, where the offense will come back out.
12:40 left in second quarter
A Floyd drop, a short run and then an incomplete deep ball (to Floyd, who appeared to have been held or simply stopped on the route) leads to another Cards punt.
Niners take over at their 46.
13:46 left in second quarter
A stop! The Cardinals force a punt, which takes a San Fran bounce to the Arizona nine. Another shot at the biggest drive of the game for the Cardinals.
End of first quarter
Third down pass falls incomplete, and ref announces "This is the end of the first quarter." Think he may have pronounced "ballgame" incorrectly. Anyway, when we return the Cards will be punting again. Not good, folks. Not good.
:48 left in first quarter
Cards begin their drive on their own 25. Kind of need points here, ya know?
:52 left in first quarter
Boldin takes a third down pass 63 yards to the Arizona four, and the next play Kaepernick hits a wide open Vernon Davis for the touchdown.
The PAT makes it 17-0, and this is definitely not what the Cardinals had in mind today.
3:15 left in first quarter
Cards stall on third down and come up empty when Jay Feely misses from 37 yards out. Rough way to see the drive end, especially with the team down 10-0. Needed to come up with something on the drive, if only to ensure this game doesn't get away from them.
Niners take over at the Arizona 28.
5:41 left in first quarter
Cardinals move the ball with help of a long Mendenhall run, then go for it on 4th and 1. Mendenhall picks up three on a good run, and it's a first down for the Cardinals. Big, big drive happening right now.
8:33 left in first quarter
Cardinals defense almost comes up with another stand, but Anquan Boldin makes a great catch for the touchdown. For a guy who claimed he'd retire before playing for anyone other than the Ravens, he's sure looked good for the 49ers today.
San Francisco up 10-0, and not a good start for the Cardinals.
9:48 left in first quarter
Bad return puts the Cardinals at their 12, and on second down Palmer is picked by NaVorro Bowman. It was a nice play by the linebacker but a bad read from the QB.
10:37 left in first quarter
Defense holds SF to a field goal, so that's a win. On third down, the Niners brought in former Cardinal Adam Snyder to add extra protection for Kaepernick, but Matt Shaughnessy went right around him and got a good shot on the QB. Some things never change...
10:55 left in first quarter
Timeout for the Cardinals as the Niners setup shop at their 8. Anquan Boldin, in his first game back since the Cardinals traded him a few years ago, is chewing up the defense, as has little-used Quinton Patton.
Not a good start for Arizona's best unit.
13:32 left in first quarter
Cardinals go three-and-out on their firs possession, and it included MIchael Floyd's first non-first down reception in a long, long time. Third down play saw Carson Palmer try to squeeze the ball between two defenders to Andre Ellington, fortunately it fell incomplete.
Alright folks, here we are. Week 17 (game 16) and it's Cardinals vs. 49ers. Depending on what happens in New Orleans, a win today could mean a playoff berth for Arizona.
Not that the Cardinals need any extra motivation, given that the Niners have won 8 of the last 9 against them.
The 49ers won the coin toss and elected to defer, so the Cardinals' offense will take the field first.
Adam Green, Web Content Editor - ArizonaSports.com
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