The San Francisco 49ers continued their recent mastery of the Arizona
Cardinals with an easy 23-7 win at Candlestick Park.
Alex Smith threw for 267 yards and two touchdowns while leading the
49ers to their eighth straight win and fifth straight win over the
Cardinals. Both touchdown tosses from Smith came within a 2:58 span
of the third quarter to put the game out of reach.
After having to settle for three David Akers field goals (in six attempts) in
the first half, Smith hit former Arizona State standout Kyle Williams on an
8-yard touchdown strike with 7:12 to go in the third quarter.
On the ensuing possession, Cardinals starting quarterback John Skelton
threw his second of three interceptions on the day. Four plays later,
Smith found Vernon Davis on an 18-yard scoring strike to push the
49ers’ lead to 23-0.
The Cardinals got on the board midway through the fourth quarter on a
23-yard touchdown pass from Richard Bartel to Larry Fitzgerald.
With the loss, the Cardinals fall to 3-7 while San Francisco beefs up its
record to 9-1–the 2nd-best mark in the league.
The Bright Spots – Was there one? I guess it would be the
special teams performance of the Cardinals, who blocked two San
Francisco field goal attempts in the first half. Other than that, this was a
good, old-fashioned whooping handed out to the Redbirds that could
easily have been far worse than the scoreboard indicated.
Patrick Peterson takes a big step backward – The roller coaster
rookie season of Peterson continued, as the talented first round pick
struggled in a few different areas. First, Michael Crabtree feasted
against Peterson’s coverage, racking up 120 yards on 7 catches for the
2nd-highest yardage total of his career. And when Crabtree caught the
ball, Peterson had difficulty in tackling him. On one play in the 2nd half,
Peterson missed two tackles on the same play. And thirdly, there wasn’t
a lot of production in the punt return game either. Peterson averaged 11
yards on two returns, but also committed a turnover on a 3rd quarter
Can we stop the QB “controversy” now? – John Skelton isn’t as
bad as he showed on Sunday, when he completed 6 of 19 passes for 99
yards and 3 interceptions. His quarterback rating was 10.5. On
the flip side, Skelton isn’t as good as he appeared in the fourth quarter
of last week’s win over the Philadelphia Eagles. Kevin Kolb, when
healthy, is the starting quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals. Period,
end of story.
Stat of the Game – The 49ers held the ball for 44:16 in this
game, meaning the Cardinals had it for 15:44, only :51 longer than the
2009 Indianapolis Colts had in a win over the Miami Dolphins. The NFL
started tracking time of possession in 1977.