1st 2nd 3rd 4th Tot
SF 7 14 7 0 28
ARI 7 0 7 11 25

The San Francisco 49ers remain undefeated following their 28-25 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday Night Football. And what's been a trend for the Niners this season, at times, they gave up an opening touchdown to their opponents, thanks largely to some porous defense against the Cardinals ground attack.

But this time, the Niners defense looked vulnerable late, surely affected by the short week.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan's squad looked a little disjointed early, especially after playing from behind. But tight end George Kittle got San Francisco on the board with a strong-armed touchdown to tie things up at seven apiece, then quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo found wide receiver Kendrick Bourne for what was then his second touchdown pass of the night to give the 49ers the first-half lead:


The Niners managed a last-second touchdown to close out the first half, as Garoppolo hit wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders with time expiring. The Cardinals appeared to stuff a 49ers 4th-and-1 attempt in the final first-half seconds, yet Arizona head coach Kliff Kingsbury had called a timeout, allowing San Francisco to run another play.

As a result, the 49ers were up 21-7 at halftime.

Garoppolo would finish the game 28-of-37 for 317 yards, four touchdowns against zero interceptions, all for a 136.9 passer rating, which marked the first time he had at least four touchdown passes in a single game over his pro career. Meanwhile, the Niners defense did a decent job early on against the rookie, Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray. But after the 49ers defense waned in the second half, Murray eventually finished with 241 yards on 17 completions, while rushing for 34 yards.

In total, Arizona managed 357 total yards. The Cardinals' newly acquired running back, Kenyan Drake, managed 162 all-purpose yards, which included the Cardinals' first touchdown and helping set up their second touchdown of the game -- a 9-yard touchdown pass from Murray to wide receiver KeeSean Johnson to make it 21-14.

The 49ers managed 411 total yards, and a chief stat amid the success was going 11-of-17 on third downs. And a big one came in the third quarter, when Garoppolo hit Sanders on a perfectly timed 22-yard pass -- the kind of timing San Francisco's other wide receivers have mostly lacked this season:


Sanders finished with seven catches for 112 yards and a touchdown. And his key third-down catch in the third quarter set up Garoppolo's 21-yard touchdown pass to fellow wideout Dante Pettis to make it 28-14 at the 5:55 mark.

San Francisco's defense looked fatigued early in the fourth quarter, frequently missing tackles and failing to contain Murray off the edge. This allowed Arizona's offense to get into the red zone, where it settled for a field goal to make it 28-17 with a little less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation.

The 49ers' subsequent drive stalled out, while linebacker Kwon Alexander ended up suffering what could be a serious chest injury. And the Cardinals responded, with Murray hitting rookie wide receiver Andy Isabella for an 88-yard catch-and-run touchdown, and the subsequent two-point attempt succeeded, as Drake found the goal line. That made it 28-25 in favor of the Niners with just under five minutes remaining:


Fortunately for San Francisco, Garoppolo found Sanders on a key 3rd-and-11 conversion, which kept the chains moving and the clock running. Then running back Tevin Coleman managed to squeak across for yet another third-down conversion, which was followed by backup tight end Ross Dwelley's third-down catch to seal the victory.

The Niners now find themselves 8-0, despite not playing their best ball and looking sloppy during various times in both the first and second halves.

On a short week, however, Garoppolo and the 49ers will take it. And they'll need the extended break before their Week 10 Monday Night Football bout against the Seattle Seahawks.


SF Team Stats ARI
21 First Downs 19
411 Total Yards 357
310 Pass Yards 204
101 Rush Yards 153
8 (75) Penalties (Yds) 9 (65)
0 Turnovers 0
5 (43) Punts (Avg) 5 (42)
34:31 Time of Pos. 25:29

49ers Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
J. Garoppolo 28/37 317 4 0
Rushing Att Yds TDs Lg
M. Breida 15 78 0 31
T. Coleman 12 23 0 8
J. Garoppolo 3 2 0 4
R. Mostert 1 -2 0 -2
Receiving Rec Yds TDs Lg
E. Sanders 7 112 1 32
G. Kittle 6 79 1 30
D. Samuel 4 40 0 17
R. Dwelley 4 29 0 11
M. Breida 2 14 0 9
T. Coleman 2 13 0 9
D. Pettis 1 21 1 21
K. Bourne 1 7 1 7
J. Wilson 1 2 0 2
Kicking FG Lg XP Pts
R. Gould 0/0 0 4/4 4
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
M. Wishnowsky 5 46.2 3 50
Kickoff Returns No Avg TDs Lg
R. James Jr. 4 17 0 23
Punt Returns No Avg TDs Lg
R. James Jr. 3 8 0 10
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
F. Warner 4-5 0 0 0
J. Ward 5-1 0 0 0
E. Moseley 4-1 0 0 0
R. Sherman 2-3 0 0 0
K. Williams 4-0 0 0 0
D. Buckner 3-1 1 0 0
J. Tartt 3-1 0 0 0
D. Greenlaw 3-0 1 0 0
D. Ford 2-0 1 0 0
D. Jones 2-0 0 0 0
A. Armstead 1-1 0 0 0
S. Thomas 1-0 0 0 0
N. Bosa 1-0 0 0 0

Cardinals Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
K. Murray 17/24 241 2 0
Rushing Att Yds TDs Lg
K. Drake 15 110 1 36
K. Murray 5 34 0 21
C. Kirk 1 8 0 8
A. Morris 1 4 0 4
Z. Zenner 1 -3 0 -3
Receiving Rec Yds TDs Lg
K. Drake 4 52 0 21
L. Fitzgerald 4 38 0 20
K. Johnson 2 22 1 13
P. Cooper 2 15 0 9
C. Kirk 2 8 0 5
A. Isabella 1 88 1 88
M. Williams 1 12 0 12
C. Clay 1 6 0 6
Kicking FG Lg XP Pts
Z. Gonzalez 1/1 36 2/2 5
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
A. Lee 5 50.6 0 64
Kickoff Returns No Avg TDs Lg
P. Cooper 2 20 0 30
T. Sherfield 1 15 0 15
Punt Returns No Avg TDs Lg
P. Cooper 3 5 0 9
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
B. Baker 11-2 0 0 0
J. Walker 7-3 0 0 0
J. Hicks 7-3 0 0 0
R. Gunter 3-0 0 0 0
D. Thompson 3-0 0 0 0
P. Peterson 2-1 0 0 0
T. Suggs 1-2 0 0 0
Z. Kerr 2-0 0 0 0
J. Bullard 2-0 0 0 0
C. Peters 2-0 0 0 0
B. Murphy Jr. 2-0 0 0 0
J. Thompson 1-1 0 0 0
K. Peterson 1-1 0 0 0
H. Reddick 1-1 0 0 0
Cha. Jones 1-0 1 0 0
C. Marsh Sr. 1-0 0 0 0
T. Brock Sr. 0-1 0 0 0
  • Peter Panacy
  • 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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