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Turnovers, injuries doom 49ers’ efforts vs. Cardinals in Week 5

Oct 7, 2018 at 4:42 PM--

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1st 2nd 3rd 4th Tot
ARI 7 7 0 14 28
SF 6 0 0 12 18

The San Francisco 49ers started off strong against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, only to see a quick and early lead evaporate following a slew of turnovers, injuries and yet more sloppy play, eventually losing 28-18 to the previously winless Cardinals.

The San Francisco 49ers sure got off to a hot start in Week 5 as they hosted the visiting Arizona Cardinals, who were still on the hunt for their first win in 2018. Quarterback C.J. Beathard helped engineer the Niners down the field on their opening possession, which culminated in an eight-play, 75-yard drive that ended in a five-yard shovel-pass touchdown from Beathard to running back Matt Breida:

But as something of an ominous sign, the Niners botched the subsequent extra-point attempt. And the Cardinals managed to answer right back on a one-play, 75-yard touchdown pass from rookie quarterback Josh Rosen to wide receiver Christian Kirk.

Kirk blew past cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, who was trailing the play. Yet safety Adrian Colbert failed to provide help over the top, which left Kirk wide open.

You can see Colbert take the wrong angle below:

Yet another one of those many defensive lapses the 49ers have suffered this season.

The 49ers attempted a long pass of their own to answer, although wide receiver Pierre Garçon couldn't hold onto the ball and it fell into the hands of Cardinals defensive back Tre Boston. While the Cardinals were unable to score off that turnover, they did manage to take advantage of a fumble by running back Raheem Mostert, which led to seven more points for Arizona and a 14-6 lead.

San Francisco was unable to garner much momentum in the first half, particularly after losing Breida for the game to an ankle injury suffered on the last play of the first quarter. Likewise, the 49ers offense was hindered by injury absences to wide receivers Marquise Goodwin and Dante Pettis, who were inactive for the contest. It forced head coach Kyle Shanahan to rely heavily on depth receivers like Kendrick Bourne and Victor Bolden Jr., who just returned from his four-game suspension to start the season.

Beathard struggled to hit his receivers throughout the game, passing for 349 yards on a whopping 54 attempts for a passer rating of 78.4. He was responsible for three touchdowns, one on the ground, but also against two interceptions. And two of the 49ers' three fumbles lost came off Beathard's hand. Goodwin's ability to stretch the field would have been valuable against a still-good Cardinals secondary.

On the flip side of the ball, EDGE Cassius Marsh easily had his best game of the season by far. He finished with three tackles, including a key stop early in the fourth quarter on third down, as well as picking up his first sack of the year.

The 49ers managed a 14-play, 83-yard drive in the fourth quarter, which ended on a fourth-down touchdown completion to wide receiver Trent Taylor from the Cardinals' 1-yard line. Yet the subsequent two-point try, to tie things up at 14 points apiece, failed.

All that might have been OK from the vantage point of the 49ers, whose defense forced a Cardinals punt after burning off a mere minute off the clock in the fourth quarter. But Beathard fumbled a second time on a sack play, which was recovered by Arizona linebacker Josh Bynes for a touchdown to put the Cardinals up 21-12 with just over 4:30 left in regulation.

Cardinals running back David Johnson also added a touchdown late in the fourth quarter to increase that lead 28-12, which was followed by a 1-yard Beathard touchdown sneak and failed Niners two-point conversion.

San Francisco now stands at 1-4 on the season, and the loss officially drops the Niners to dead last in the NFC West after five weeks -- a spot no one thought the team would be in at this point in the year.

ARI Team Stats SF
10 First Downs 33
220 Total Yards 447
164 Pass Yards 300
56 Rush Yards 147
5 (46) Penalties (Yds) 9 (65)
0 Turnovers 5
8 (39) Punts (Avg) 4 (39)
19:48 Time of Pos. 40:12

Cardinals Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
J. Rosen 10/25 170 1 0
Rushing Att Yds TDs Lg
D. Johnson 18 55 2 10
C. Kirk 1 5 0 5
C. Edmonds 1 -1 0 -1
J. Rosen 3 -3 0 -1
Receiving Rec Yds TDs Lg
C. Kirk 3 85 1 75
L. Fitzgerald 2 35 0 20
C. Williams 2 23 0 13
D. Johnson 2 16 0 11
J. Gresham 1 11 0 11
Fumbles Fum Lost Rec Yds
M. Cole 1 0 0 0
J. Rosen 0 0 1 0
C. Jones 0 0 0 0
P. Peterson 0 0 0 49
J. Bynes 0 0 0 23
Kicking FG Lg XP Pts
P. Dawson 0/0 0 4/4 4
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
A. Lee 8 39.6 5 52
Punt Returns No Avg TDs Lg
C. Kirk 1 0 0 0
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
B. Baker 11-4 1 0 0
A. Bethea 9-4 0 0 0
J. Bynes 9-2 1 0 0
H. Reddick 8-0 1 0 1
P. Peterson 5-2 0 0 0
C. Jones 6-0 1 0 1
T. Boston 6-0 0 1 0
B. Benwikere 3-3 0 1 0
R. Gunter 2-3 0 0 1
O. Pierre 2-1 0 0 0
B. Mayowa 2-1 0 0 0
C. Peters 2-1 0 0 0
Z. Moore 2-0 0 0 0
I. Odenigbo 0-1 0 0 0

49ers Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
C. Beathard 34/54 349 2 2
Rushing Att Yds TDs Lg
A. Morris 18 61 0 13
M. Breida 8 56 0 17
K. Juszczyk 1 12 0 12
R. Mostert 5 11 0 12
C. Beathard 2 7 1 6
Receiving Rec Yds TDs Lg
T. Taylor 7 61 1 16
K. Juszczyk 6 75 0 25
G. Kittle 5 83 0 45
P. Garçon 5 47 0 20
K. Bourne 4 33 0 10
A. Morris 3 30 0 15
V. Bolden 1 10 0 10
R. James 1 7 0 7
M. Breida 1 5 1 5
R. Mostert 1 -2 0 -2
Fumbles Fum Lost Rec Yds
C. Beathard 2 2 0 0
T. Taylor 1 0 1 0
R. Mostert 1 1 0 0
Kicking FG Lg XP Pts
R. Gould 0/1 0 0/0 0
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
B. Pinion 4 44.3 1 50
Kickoff Returns No Avg TDs Lg
R. James 1 32 0 32
D. Reed 1 29 0 29
Punt Returns No Avg TDs Lg
T. Taylor 3 1 0 3
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
C. Marsh 3-1 1 0 0
D. Buckner 3-1 0 0 0
J. Tartt 3-1 0 0 0
M. Smith 2-2 0 0 0
R. Foster 3-0 0 0 0
A. Armstead 3-0 0 0 0
A. Witherspoon 3-0 0 0 0
F. Warner 3-0 0 0 0
E. Mitchell 2-1 0 0 0
K. Williams 1-1 0 0 0
G. Mabin 1-1 0 0 0
A. Colbert 0-2 0 0 0
S. Thomas 1-0 0 0 0
R. Blair 0-1 0 0 0
  • Written by:
    Peter Panacy has been writing about the 49ers since 2011 for outlets like Bleacher Report, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, and is occasionally heard as a guest on San Francisco's 95.7 FM The Game and the Niners' flagship station, KNBR 680. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to his Twitter account.

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