ARIZONA CARDINALS

Rapid Reaction: Cardinals keep slim hopes alive with win over 49ers

Nov 5, 2017, 7:23 PM | Updated: Nov 6, 2017, 8:52 am
Arizona Cardinals tight end Jermaine Gresham (84) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the ...
Arizona Cardinals tight end Jermaine Gresham (84) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Backs against the wall, the Arizona Cardinals didn’t have a letdown facing the worst team in the NFL.

Behind quarterback Drew Stanton making his first start this year in place of the injured Carson Palmer, Arizona beat the San Francisco 49ers, 20-10, on Sunday, moving to 4-4 on the year.

More than that, the Seahawks fell to the Washington Redskins on Sunday, setting up a potentially division-changing game between Seattle and Arizona this coming Thursday.

Here’s some quick reaction to the Cardinals’ game from the staff of 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station and ArizonaSports.com.

Of course, you can get more reaction Monday starting at 6 a.m. with Doug & Wolf and continuing with The Blitz with Bertrand Berry & Mike Jurecki and Bickley & Marotta — who will both broadcast from the Cardinals practice facility in Tempe. Then, Burns & Gambo will wrap up the day’s analysis on your drive home from 2-6 p.m.


Vince Marotta, Co-host of Bickley & Marotta

I’m looking for an adjective for the Cardinals’ 20-10 win over the 49ers, and all I can come up with is ‘meh.’

If you had to predict what Drew Stanton’s stat line would be in a game like this, you might have said 15-for-30 for 201 yards with two touchdowns and a bad pick. That’s exactly what he posted.

The story of the game was Adrian Peterson, who had 37 carries (the most ever by a Cardinals running back since 1988) for 159 yards. A lot of that yardage was courtesy of Peterson, who didn’t have a lot of running room to work with for most of the game.

Defensively, the Cardinals took advantage of a beat-up San Francisco offensive line and a rookie quarterback. They harassed C.J. Beathard all day long, but there were some open receivers running around in the the Arizona secondary, which is a little concerning.

On special teams, Phil Dawson missed another easy field goal — his sixth miss of the season. He did rebound to convert on two kicks, and the concern about the kicking game is real and would be addressed by many teams at this point of the season. The Cardinals aren’t one of those teams.

After an ugly loss in London and a bye week, this is what the Cardinals needed. But outside of Peterson’s performance, there’s not really much to fuel any hope that Arizona can climb back into real postseason contention over the last eight weeks of the season.


Luke Lapinski, Host of The Rundown with Luke Lapinski

Fair or not, many people feared the Arizona Cardinals’ season was essentially done after they were blown out by the Eagles back on Oct. 8. But then they added Adrian Peterson and suddenly the outlook changed. They put up 38 on the Buccaneers the following week, rekindled some hope … and then basically threw all that hope away by losing to the Rams 33-0 in London.

So once again, the general feeling was that this team simply wouldn’t be able to survive the overdose of injuries to key players they’ve been handed this season. And maybe that will still prove to be true. But they are at least hanging around this thing at 4-4, and maybe that says something about the resiliency of this group, after all.

Bruce Arians has taken on a decent amount of criticism this season, and some of it has been justified. But he followed through on his comments that he’d commit to the run this week, giving Peterson a career-high 37 carries. Peterson responded with 159 yards, the Cards were able to grind out a 20-10 victory on the road. And suddenly there’s an important game coming to University of Phoenix Stadium on Thursday.

To be fair, a 10-point win over the hapless 49ers doesn’t just magically change everything. Arizona’s still playing without Carson Palmer, David Johnson and a number of other important players, and it’s not like San Francisco is a daunting opponent. But the reality is this: if they can somehow edge their oddly inconsistent rivals from Seattle – who will be traveling on a short week, no less – the Cards will take over second place in the NFC West. And they’d then have extra time to prepare for the Tom Savage-led Texans the following week.

So maybe the general outlook of this team doesn’t drastically change after the win over the 49ers. But they’re still in the thick of things. And they managed to get it done with defense and an overpowering ground game this week, which is probably the blueprint they need to follow for awhile.​


John Gambadoro, Co-host of Burns & Gambo

It’s a win. The Cardinals won on the road vs. a division foe. Nevermind that the 49ers haven’t won a game yet.

Arizona is just trying to stay relevant as long as possible despite the numerous injuries and inconsistent play. The good news was Adrian Peterson, who I am hoping got me enough yards to beat Mike Jurecki in my fantasy game this week. AP was the bell cow they needed him to be. The Cardinals did what they had to do, and not much more. They won behind a backup quarterback who did a good job managing the game.

Arizona was never really in danger of losing this one. And with Seattle’s loss Sunday, the Cardinals have a chance to tie the Seahawks for second place behind the red-hot Rams. Lose to Seattle on Thursday and the slim playoff chances are gone — win and they remain in the hunt. Plain and simple.


Craig Grialou, reporter

Look, I get it, it was a win against the winless 49ers, so how much stock do you put into the Cardinals’ 20-10 victory at Levi’s Stadium? A lot. Because 1) it beats the alternative and 2) thanks to Seattle’s loss, the Cardinals have put themselves back in the playoff discussion, if for only one week. Remember, all a team has to do is win its division.

Thursday’s game against the Seahawks looms large. And can some team beat the Rams?!

Props to Bruce Arians for sticking with the run. Twice this season he’s admitted to abandoning the run game. That wasn’t the case this afternoon. Offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin got his wish: Feed the beast. Thirty-seven carries is a lot, especially going into a short week, but Adrian Peterson is more rested than most running backs at this point in the season and really, do the Cardinals have any other options right now? Exactly.


Dave Burns, Co-host of Burns & Gambo

Feeding the beast was the story of the day for the Cardinals. Hard to believe for everything Adrian Peterson has accomplished in his career he’s never carried the ball as many times as he did Sunday against the 49ers.

Thirty-seven carries for 157 yards was proof that Bruce Arians is more than willing to pass on the biscuits every now and then in favor of a more balanced offensive approach. The defense forced key turnovers, Drew Stanton didn’t light the stat sheet on fire but he was cautious with the ball. This is the equation moving forward.

The questions are still the same. Can Peterson hold up when he’s getting that many carries? Can the Cardinals win against better teams? So far, they’ve beaten the Colts, Bucs and 49ers twice. I doubt any other four-win team has a less impressive list than that. But that’s a concern for another day. Today was a day for averting crisis. With the win, crisis averted.


Mike Jurecki, Co-host of The Blitz with B-Train & Jurecki

The Cardinals were able to win the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, and they committed to running the football behind Adrian Peterson, who tallied a career-high in rushes (37) for 159 yards, including runs of 16, 18 and 25 yards.

They worked the left side of the offensive line on Sunday as they ran 23 of their 40 run plays to the left of center, and recorded 122 of their 167 rushing yards behind the left side with D.J. Humphries and Alex Boone.

Drew Stanton wasn’t sacked by the 49ers defense and was able to, at times, get outside the pocket to make some throws. According to Pro Football Focus, he mostly ignored the left side of the field as only three passes came outside of the left hashes. Stanton was able to move the ball downfield as he completed seven of 13 passes beyond 10 yards for 137 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

The Cardinals blitzed on 20 of their 59 pass snaps and recorded pressure 50 percent of the time. When blitzing, Arizona hit quarterback C.J. Beathard five times and sacked him twice.

Life Changer Loans
San Francisco 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard, right, runs from Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Olsen Pierre during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Jaron Brown (13) catches a touchdown pass against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) San Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde (28) runs against Arizona Cardinals inside linebacker Karlos Dansby (56) during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton (5) passes against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) Arizona Cardinals tight end Jermaine Gresham (84) is congratulated by Troy Niklas after scoring a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Arizona Cardinals tight end Jermaine Gresham, right, catches a touchdown pass in front of San Francisco 49ers cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) Arizona Cardinals tight end Jermaine Gresham (84) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) Arizona Cardinals running back Adrian Peterson, right, runs against San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Eli Harold during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) 
              San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Eli Harold, bottom center, and safety Eric Reid, bottom right, kneel during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            Arizona Cardinals running back Adrian Peterson (23) runs against San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan watches from the sideline during the first half of an NFL football game between the 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Arizona Cardinals running back Adrian Peterson (23) runs against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) watches from the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (11) is tackled by Arizona Cardinals defensive back Tramon Williams during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan gestures during the second half of an NFL football game between the 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) San Francisco 49ers offensive guard Laken Tomlinson, center, shoves Arizona Cardinals players during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Arizona Cardinals inside linebacker Karlos Dansby (56) sacks San Francisco 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Arizona Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson (4) celebrates with Andy Lee after kicking a field goal as San Francisco 49ers linebacker Dekoda Watson (97) reacts during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Arizona Cardinals running back Adrian Peterson (23) runs against San Francisco 49ers defensive end Leger Douzable during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton (5) scrambles from San Francisco 49ers defensive end DeForest Buckner (99) during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) San Francisco 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard (3) passes against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) San Francisco 49ers kicker Robbie Gould (9) celebrates his field goal with offensive tackle Joe Staley (74) as Arizona Cardinals defensive end Frostee Rucker (92) walks to the bench during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Cardinals strong safety Antoine Bethea, right, and teammates confront San Francisco 49ers players during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) Arizona Cardinals inside linebacker Karlos Dansby (56) celebrates with Larry Fitzgerald, left, and Tyvon Branch after intercepting a pass by San Francisco 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Chandler Jones, right, hugs San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) after an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton, left, greets San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) after an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) San Francisco 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard (3) stands on the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game between the 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) San Francisco 49ers offensive guard Laken Tomlinson (75) and offensive tackle Trent Brown (77) sit on the bench during the second half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

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Rapid Reaction: Cardinals keep slim hopes alive with win over 49ers