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Notes from the Nest: Cardinals vs. 49ers

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Here we are, back at University of Phoenix Stadium for another Cards game. Arizona hosts the San Francisco 49ers in their first NFC West matchup of the season.

The Niners come in at 1-1 while the Cardinals are 2-0. Inactive for the Cardinals are LG Mike Iupati and RB Andre Ellington, among others, while Bobby Massie will be the starting right tackle in his first game back from suspension.

The Cardinals won the toss and elected to receive the kick.

End of fourth quarter

Well that was about as complete an effort as you could ask for from the Cardinals. Offense, defense, special teams — they dominated a hapless 49ers team the way a good team should.

Arizona moves to 3-0 on the season, and has set some records in the process. Time to head downstairs to hear from Coach Arians and players.

Final score: Arizona 47, San Francisco 7.


1:58 left in fourth quarter

The Cardinals force a punt and now the backups are in the game on offense. Can’t imagine much more than a few run plays as they look to just finish this one out and get to next week.


2:50 left in fourth quarter

The Cardinals have their backups in on D though they are still making life difficult for Kaepernick and Co. The 49ers are driving, however, and currently have a 2nd and 10 from their own 41.


5:15 left in fourth quarter

Palmer with a quick, short screen-like pass to Larry Fitzgerald, who takes it in from eight yards out. The PAT makes the score 47-7.


7:51 left in fourth quarter

David Johnson getting the bulk of the carries now that Chris Johnson has eclipsed the 100-yard mark. Johnson & Johnson…

The Cardinals are in San Francisco territory. Stepfan Taylor stopped short on a 3rd and 1, but the Cards are going to go for it.


12:57 left in fourth quarter

LaMarr Woodley notches a sack and the Cardinals stop the 49ers. Punt goes out of bounds at hte Arizona 21, where the offense comes out onto the field (with Palmer, by the way).


End of third quarter

Colin Kaepernick picks up some yards on the ground and the quarter comes to a close with Arizona up 40-7 and the Niners facing a third and one. The ball is at the San Francisco 29.


:35 left in third quarter

Confusing sequence of events on that drive. Palmer is sacked on a play and fumbles, apparently, but an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty pushes them forward. A few plays later Michael Floyd is called for an offensive pass interference, breaking up what likely would have been an interception in the end zone. Butler’s punt bounces off the one and into the end zone for a touchback.


4:18 left in third quarter

First play from scrimmage sees Carlos Hyde fail to get out of the end zone. So, you can dance if you want to. You can leave your friends behind. Whatever you do, it’s two more points for the Cardinals and now Arizona has a 40-7 advantage.

4:24 left in third quarter

Cards move the ball some, mainly with the run and then with an outstanding pass from Palmer to a wide open Fitzgerald. However, the drive stalls as Palmer is sacked for the first time this season. Butler’s punt is saved from the end zone by Bethel, who maintained possession long enough to be considered down inside the one.

Not a bad game for Bethel, with the pick-six, forced fumble and now this.


8:57 left in third quarter

Frostee Rucker gets credited for a sack of Kaepernick, though other Cardinals were in the area. Brittan Golden returns the punt to the Arizona 27, where the offense will go to work.

The rest of this game will be interesting. The Cardinals are firmly in control but don’t want to let the 49ers have any kind of life. Also, though, you want to get out of this one healthy.


9:49 left in third quarter

A timeout on the field as the 49ers get set for a third and five from their own 40. Stadium is getting pretty loud here as the fans seem to sense blood in the water. The Cardinals do, too.


12:29 left in third quarter

Chris Johnson turns a short pass into a 40 yard gain, and Palmer hits Fitzgerald for a four-yard TD. PAT is good and it is 38-7 Arizona.

14:27 left in third quarter

49ers open the second half much in the same way they played the first — with an interception. This time it is Jerraud Powers who picks Kaepernick, and the Cards are in business.

End of second quarter

Palmer hits Michael Floyd with a dart, only the receiver was tackled in bounds and short of the goal line. Palmer and the offense did a good job of getting back to the line of scrimmage to spike the ball and stop the clock, which they did with just one tick left.

Chandler Catanzaro comes on and drills a 22-yard field goal and the score is 31-7 Cardinals at the half.


:16 left in second quarter

A nice gain on a pass to David Johnson makes it third and one from the San Francisco 16. The Cardinals just used their last timeout, though, which kind of limits what they can try here.


:30 left in second quarter

Facing a third and long, Kaepernick is AGAIN picked by Tyrann Mathieu. The return is taken all the way back to the San Francisco 25. Mathieu had a nice spin along the sideline to stay in bounds, though that is under review.


:53 left in second quarter

The Cardinals were driving but Palmer, facing pressure, threw a jump ball to Floyd off his back foot. Floyd, unfortunately, did not get to where the ball went, and it was picked off. The return got the Niners to their own 19.


1:54 left in second quarter

Palmer hits John Brown for a nice gain and the Cardinals hit the two-minute warning at their own 42 looking to build on their lead.  As with their last drive, they really can’t afford to make a bad mistake — don’t want to let the 49ers back in it — but it would not be a bad idea to sort of reassert their dominance with a score.


2:03 left in second quarter

Kaepernick gets Arizona’s linebackers to bite on a fake and then beats them to the edge, scoring from 12 yards out. The guy hasn’t done much with his arm but his legs are still very, very dangerous.

The PAT makes the score 28-7 and while the Cardinals are still in control of this game, it is signs of life from a San Francisco team that appeared dead. A bad punt/big return will let that happen.


3:08 left in second quarter

Cards go three and out and a short punt leads to a big return. Niners will start their drive at the Arizona 19.


4:54 left in second quarter

Mathieu nearly jumps another route, but as it is the 49ers picked up a few yards when they needed many. The punt bounces off a running Peterson’s hands and out of bounds at the Arizona 20. Do the Cardinals have more points in them here before the end of the half? Obviously they don’t want to turn the ball over or anything, but it would be unlike Bruce Arians to let off the gas here with a chance to really, truly bury the 49ers.


7:40 left in second quarter

Woah. The 49ers nearly gave the Cardinals a gift as they fumbled on the kickoff return, but were able to recover and give at least the impression that they still might put up a fight in this game.

It’s been an impressive half for the Cardinals, who have done just about everything right in building a 28-0 lead.


7:58 left in second quarter

Cardinals in the midst of an impressive drive, featuring some nice runs from Chris Johnson (who gained a big chunk of yards simply by being alert). John Brown dropped what should have been a TD pass (guessing he didn’t think the ball would make to him), but Palmer went back to Smokey the very next play and got a big gain for it.

It’s now 3rd and goal from the one.

7:49 left in second quarter

The Cardinals put together a very impressive drive that featured some big runs by from Chris Johnson (who picked up a big chunk of yards by being alert on one play). John Brown dropped what should have been a TD catch, but it looked like he may have been a bit surprised the ball made it to him. Palmer went back to Smokey on the very next play, however, and the reception put the Cardinals at the one. A few plays later, Chris Johnson punched it in for his second TD of the day.

It’s 28-0 Cardinals.


11:53 left in second quarter

Cards give up some more yards to RB Carlos Hyde, but stop him on third and short, forcing a punt. Peterson returns it a few yards but nothing really materializes. Arizona takes over at its own 19.

14:56 left in second quarter

A false start penalty on Jared Veldheer (his third penalty of the game) pushed the Cards back to the six, but Chris Johnson took the handoff up the middle and found paydirt for his first touchdown with his new team.

The PAT is good and the score is 21-0 Arizona.


End of first quarter

And a lot has happened on this drive.

The 49ers have taken the bold strategy of not covering Larry Fitzgerald, and the Cardinals have been more than happy to get the ball to No. 11. He already has 90 yards on five catches.

At any rate, a personal foul facemask penalty during a Chris Johnson run gives the Cardinals a first-and-goal from the San Francisco one. With the score already 14-0, this one — while early — seems to be in danger of turning into a route.


5:54 left in first quarter

Cardinals give up some yards but ultimately force a punt. Patrick Peterson was back to receive, by the way. The ball heads out of bounds and will be placed at the Arizona 19, which is where Palmer and the offense will begin the drive. A lot has happened since they last touched the ball.


9:03 left in first quarter

Pick-sixes are fun, aren’t they? This time it was Tyrann Mathieu who bated Kaepernick into an interception, taking it back 33 yards for the score. For Arizona’s defense, this could not have started off much better.

14-0 home team.


11:06 left in first quarter

Well, Cards did even better than I was asking for. Kaepernick was late on a read and threw a bad ball that was picked off by Justin Bethel, and then returned for a score. The pick-six and ensuing PAT gives Arizona an early 7-0 lead. It was Bethel’s first defensive snap of the season, by the way.

11:15 left in first quarter

The Cards stuff Carlos Hyde on a couple of runs to force a third and 10. There was some confusion with the defense, though, and Arizona calls a timeout to get things straight. A stop here would be great for the home team as they’d likely end up with excellent field position following a punt.


12:10 left in first quarter

The drive started off well with a couple of passes to Fitzgerald, but then Chris Johnson picked up just one yard on two carries before Bobby Massie was beaten off the edge on third down, forcing Palmer to throw under pressure. The pass fell incomplete, and Drew Butler’s punt is fair caught at the San Francisco 13.


15:00 left in first quarter

Kick goes for a touchback and the Cards start at their 20. Chris Johnson is the lead running back, and the first play is a play-action pass to Larry Fitzgerald for 21 yards.



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