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The 49ers beat a tougher than they appear Arizona Cardinals team by a score of 32-20 with some opportunistic defense, a little power running and a whole lot of Vernon Davis. The division win brought San Francisco's record to 4-2 and gave them sole possession of second place in the NFC West. Here is what 49ers' fans are talking about after Week 6:
Davis in the zone
It's no secret that the team desperately needed Vernon Davis to be prodcutive this season and he more than answered the bell in Week 6. Davis hauled in eight balls for 180 yards and caught touchdown passes of 35 and 61 yards. It marked a career high in yardage during a regular season game for Davis, eclipsing his previous high total of 126 yards which he accomplished against the Green Bay Packers in 2010.
Davis has now caught six of the eight touchdown passes Colin Kaepernick has thrown on the season. While targeting Davis against Arizona, Kaepernick was 8-of-11 for the before mentioned 180 yards and two scores. When targeting all other receivers, he was 8-of-18 for 72 yards.
30 for 30 (for 30)
The 49ers have scored 30 or more points in each of their last three games. That is the first time the team has done that under Jim Harbaugh. The Niners scored over 30 in back to back games twice in 2012 but were not able to reach the mark the following week in either case. Overall, Harbaugh's 49ers have scored 30 plus points 16 times since 2011 including the playoffs. They have a record of 15-1 in those game with the only loss being in the Super Bowl.
Rookie defenders come up big
Eric Reid continued to look like a star in the making as the rookie safety picked off Carson Palmer and returned the interception 53 yards to set up the first points of the game. Later, he was Johnny-on-the-spot recovering a Larry Fitzgerald fumble that stopped the Cardinals and swung the momentum as they were driving deep into San Francisco territory.
Corey Lemonier continues to get snaps on passing downs and continues to show that he has a future as a pass rusher in the league. While he was yet to record his first sack going into Week 6, the rookie linebacker had been disruptive and showed some burst off the edge. He got into the sack column in a big way against the Cardinals, dropping Carson Palmer in the endzone for a safety. He also forced a fumble.
When the 49ers needed a drive to put the game away, they went to their bread and butter. The power running game has made it's return during this three game win streak and it was never more on display than during the team's 18-play 89 yard drive that took 9 1/2 minutes off the clock. The 49ers plowed straight ahead and ran the ball 12 times against a Cardinals' defense that came into the game giving up only 3.3 yards per carry on the ground. It was the longest drive in the NFL this season.
Offensive coordinator Greg Roman did not show much variety in his play calling during the drive, and stuck with the play Ninety-four power to keep moving the chains. Kaepernick also did his part to keep the offense on the field as he hit Kyle Williams and Anquan Boldin on separate occasions to convert thrid downs (something the 49ers have struggled to do this season). The drive was capped off by a 6-yard touchdown run by Kendall Hunter who was spelling work horse Frank Gore. Gore carried the ball 25 times on the day and gained 80 of his 101 yards in the second half.
Kaep's full season
For those wondering, Kaepernick has now played 16 games in his career including the playoffs. He is 259-of-433 with 3627 yards passing. He is completing 59.8 percent of his throws and has 22 touchdown passes to 10 interceptions. Most importantly, the 49ers are 11-5 in those starts. Somewhat surprisingly, Kaepernick only has five rushing touchdowns in those starts and three of those came in the playoffs. He does not have a rushing touchdown this season as the 49ers has limited his exposure in the ground game.
The 49ers will travel to Tennessee in Week 7 to take on the Titans. While the Titans gave the Seahawks a tough game on Sunday, they are not the same team without their starting quarterback, Jake Locker, who is out with an injury. Since backup Ryan Fitzpatrick took over, Tennessee is 0-2 and have only scored 23 points on offense in the two losses. The 49ers should consider this road game a very winnable one.