1st 2nd 3rd 4th Tot
ARI 9 7 3 7 26
SF 0 10 7 19 36

It appeared as if the Arizona Cardinals were going to literally uptempo the San Francisco 49ers to death in Week 11.

Arizona came out hot early, using its fast-paced offensive approach to get out to a quick 16-0 lead against the Niners, who were arguably still reeling from a Monday Night Football loss against the Seattle Seahawks the previous week. And this was the way the Cardinals generated some success the last time they played the 49ers back in Week 9.

San Francisco now owns a 9-1 record on the year after winning 36-26 over the Cardinals, however.

Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray proved to be a tough tackle early on, hitting veteran wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald for Arizona's first touchdown, then backup wide receiver Pharoh Cooper for another before halftime. For the future Hall of Famer, Fitzgerald, his touchdown score marked the 19th such instance against San Francisco, which is the most he's had against any opponent.

The 49ers scuffled early, offensively, and didn't have too many defensive answers against Murray early on, either. But quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo managed to hit fill-in tight end Ross Dwelley for a 4-yard touchdown midway through the second quarter to get the Niners on the board.

And with time expiring in the first half, kicker Chase McLaughlin connected on a 43-yard to make it 16-10, with Arizona in the lead.

The 49ers took the lead on their first possession after the half, as Garoppolo found Dwelley again for a 5-yard touchdown, resulting in a 1-point lead:


Then, after San Francisco's defense kept Murray and the Cardinals in check on the following drive, Garoppolo and the offense marched back into Arizona territory again, yet Garoppolo didn't see Cardinals linebacker Jordan Hicks to the left of the formation. Hicks picked off Garoppolo, then returned the interception for 48 yards to give Arizona a chance to retake the lead.

The Cardinals were able to, yet only off a 43-yard field goal to go up 19-17 at the 2:54 mark of the third quarter.

Garoppolo was 34-of-45 for 424 yards, four touchdowns against two interceptions. Murray went 24-of-33 for 150 yards, two touchdowns with zero interceptions.

Murray added 67 yards and a touchdown on the ground, too, although he took four sacks as well.

Injuries hindered San Francisco entering the contest, as tight end George Kittle (knee/ankle), left tackle Joe Staley (finger), running back Matt Breida (ankle) and kicker Robbie Gould (quad), among others, were unavailable for the game. In game, the 49ers lost EDGE Dee Ford to a hamstring injury, and nickel corner K'Waun Williams exited with an arm injury. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel left with a shoulder injury.

Both Williams and Samuel were able to return, however. And Samuel had himself a monster game, recording eight catches for 134 yards, coming on the heels of what was previously a career-high game against the Seahawks last week.

The 49ers managed to retake the lead shortly inside the fourth quarter, as Garoppolo found wide receiver Kendrick Bourne for a 3-yard touchdown, albeit with a missed two-point attempt, to make it 23-19 in favor of San Francisco:


But the Cardinals used their subsequent drive to answer back, accounting for a 10-play drive that culminated in a 22-yard rushing touchdown by Murray to put Arizona up 26-23 with 6:30 left in regulation.

Yes, Murray is a tough tackle:


Garoppolo threw behind Dwelley in the red zone on the following drive, and the missed catch deflected off Dwelley's outstretched hand and into the arms of Cardinals safety Jalen Thompson for Arizona's second takeaway.

San Francisco's defense responded well enough, giving Garoppolo and Co. one final chance to retake the lead or at least tie the game before the end of regulation. And with 31 seconds remaining, Garoppolo hit backup running back Jeff Wilson for a 25-yard touchdown catch and run right up the middle:


Just like that, the Niners were ahead 30-26, albeit in stress-mode fashion. And safety Jaquiski Tartt recovered a fumble on the Cardinals' ensuing possession, all but icing the game for San Francisco. The Cardinals got the ball back on downs with six seconds remaining, which eventually and somehow led to the 49ers' final touchdown on the muffed reversal.

But the game sure seemed a lot closer than the final score.


ARI Team Stats SF
21 First Downs 26
266 Total Yards 442
131 Pass Yards 408
135 Rush Yards 34
10 (104) Penalties (Yds) 10 (127)
2 Turnovers 2
4 (44) Punts (Avg) 2 (51)
31:23 Time of Pos. 28:37

Cardinals Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
K. Murray 24/33 150 2 0
Rushing Att Yds TDs Lg
K. Drake 16 67 0 12
K. Murray 8 67 1 22
C. Kirk 1 1 0 1
Receiving Rec Yds TDs Lg
C. Kirk 6 41 0 11
K. Drake 6 13 0 9
L. Fitzgerald 5 37 1 12
P. Cooper 3 35 1 23
K. Johnson 2 14 0 9
A. Isabella 1 6 0 6
D. Daniels 1 4 0 4
Fumbles Fum Lost Rec Yds
K. Johnson 1 1 0 0
L. Fitzgerald 1 1 0 0
Kicking FG Lg XP Pts
Z. Gonzalez 2/2 43 2/3 8
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
A. Lee 4 50.5 1 61
Kickoff Returns No Avg TDs Lg
P. Cooper 2 20 0 22
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
B. Baker 12-1 0 0 0
J. Hicks 8-4 1 1 0
B. Murphy Jr. 5-0 0 0 0
J. Thompson 5-0 0 1 0
P. Peterson 4-0 0 0 0
Cha. Jones 3-1 1 0 0
J. Walker 3-1 0 0 0
C. Marsh Sr. 2-2 0 0 0
T. Suggs 3-0 0 0 0
R. Gunter 2-1 0 0 0
C. Peters 1-1 0 0 0
M. Dogbe 1-0 0 0 0
H. Reddick 0-1 0 0 0
Z. Kerr 0-1 0 0 0

49ers Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
J. Garoppolo 34/45 424 4 2
Rushing Att Yds TDs Lg
T. Coleman 12 14 0 4
R. Mostert 6 13 0 6
J. Garoppolo 1 7 0 7
Receiving Rec Yds TDs Lg
D. Samuel 8 134 0 26
K. Juszczyk 7 63 0 19
K. Bourne 4 31 1 19
R. Dwelley 4 14 2 5
T. Coleman 3 48 0 37
E. Sanders 3 33 0 14
R. Mostert 2 14 0 8
R. James Jr. 1 57 0 57
J. Wilson 1 25 1 25
M. Goodwin 1 5 0 5
Fumbles Fum Lost Rec Yds
D. Reed Jr. 0 0 0 4
J. Tartt 0 0 0 0
Kicking FG Lg XP Pts
C. McLaughlin 1/1 43 3/3 6
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
M. Wishnowsky 2 50.5 1 51
Kickoff Returns No Avg TDs Lg
R. James Jr. 3 23 0 27
Punt Returns No Avg TDs Lg
R. James Jr. 2 4 0 6
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
F. Warner 9-3 0 0 0
D. Greenlaw 8-2 0 0 0
J. Ward 5-1 1 0 0
K. Williams 3-1 0 0 0
E. Moseley 2-2 0 0 0
R. Sherman 3-0 0 0 0
J. Tartt 3-0 0 0 0
N. Bosa 1-2 0 0 0
D. Buckner 2-0 1 0 0
D. Ford 2-0 1 0 0
J. Taylor 2-0 0 0 0
A. Armstead 1-1 1 0 0
D. Moore 1-1 0 0 1
E. Lee 1-1 0 0 0
D. Reed Jr. 1-0 0 0 1
S. Thomas 1-0 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.

Related News