Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


Recap: 49ers doomed by miscues, missed opportunities in 24-20 loss to Cardinals

Sep 13, 2020 at 4:29 PM--


1st 2nd 3rd 4th Tot
ARI 7 3 0 14 24
SF 10 3 0 7 20

This wasn't exactly what the San Francisco 49ers and their fans had in mind to start the 2020 season.

The 49ers headed into the season with high expectations after finishing 2019 with a 13-3 record and an NFC Championship. But the Arizona Cardinals got the 2020 season off to an unexpectedly dismal start for the 49ers Sunday with a 24-20 upset win at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.

The game was filled with miscues and missed opportunities for both teams, but the Cardinals were able to seal the deal when it mattered most by notching a go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter while holding the 49ers out of the end zone on a late-game drive with less than a minute to play. The 49ers hurt themselves in particular on third and fourth downs, converting just two of 11 third-down opportunities while falling short on both their chances on fourth down.

As It Happened


The 49ers got on the scoreboard on their opening drive, capping a six-play, 41-yard possession with a 52-yard field goal from Robbie Gould. The possession featured three carries for 10 yards from running back Raheem Mostert in his first start, along with two catches for 16 yards from tight end George Kittle.

The score quickly became 10-0 in favor of the 49ers on their second possession, which came after the defense forced the Cardinals to punt after five plays. 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo found Mostert wide open on a short pass on the first play of the possession, and Mostert did the rest from there, rumbling 76 yards to the end zone for his first touchdown of the season.


After holding the Cardinals to a three-and-out on the next possession, the 49ers took over with just over eight minutes on the clock in the first quarter and a chance to put the Cardinals in a sizable early hole. But things took a negative turn for the 49ers after a three-and-out of their own when punter Mitch Wishnowsky had his first attempt of the season blocked by linebacker Ezekiel Turner. Linebacker Dennis Gardeck recovered the blocked punt at the 49ers' 10-yard line, which set up a 10-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kyler Murray to running back Chase Edmonds to make the score 10-7.


The 49ers got back into scoring position early in the second quarter after driving into the red zone on a 10-play drive but were stopped short when a fourth-and-one running attempt by Mostert was stood up at the goal line by linebacker Devon Kennard. The Cardinals were able to flip the field by marching down to the 49ers' 34-yard line in 12 plays but failed to capitalize when a 52-yard field goal attempt by kicker Zane Gonzalez sailed wide right.

The Cardinals quickly took back possession with five minutes left in the second quarter after forcing the 49ers to punt after five plays. But the 49ers responded with their first forced turnover of the season when a tipped pass by linebacker Dre Greenlaw landed into the hands of safety Jaquiski Tartt, who set the 49ers up with possession at the Cardinals' 26-yard line. The Cardinals were able to hold the 49ers to a 24-yard field goal from Gould, which stretched the 49ers' lead to 13-7 with 30 seconds to go in the half.


The Cardinals were able to use the final 30 seconds of the first half to their advantage. A 20-yard run by Edmonds and two completions from Murray to wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins put Gonzalez in position to attempt a 56-yard field goal with two seconds remaining in the half, and this time Gonzalez's kick was on the mark to cut the deficit to 13-10 at halftime.

Things didn't go as well for Gonzalez on his next attempt, which came at the end of the first Cardinals possession of the second half. After a 42-yard kickoff return from Edmonds to start the half, Murray led the Cardinals on an 11-play drive that set up Gonzalez with a 49-yard attempt from the 49ers' 31-yard line. But the attempt sailed wide right, leaving the score at 13-10 and Gonzalez at 1-for-3 on field goal attempts for the day.

Neither offense was able to generate any scoring during the third quarter, but the Cardinals were able to take their first lead of the game early in the fourth quarter after a drive where they were aided by multiple costly penalties from the 49ers. The Cardinals appeared to have been stopped on third down early in the drive, but a holding call on K'Waun Williams deep in Cardinals territory kept the possession intact. A roughing the passer call on defensive end Kerry Hyder on a second-and-21 play later in the drive along with a pass interference call on cornerback Emmanuel Moseley helped push the Cardinals deep into 49ers territory, then Murray went on to cap the 14-play, 94-yard drive with a 22-yard touchdown run, giving the Cardinals a 17-13 lead.


The 49ers were able to answer on the following drive, getting some help of their own from the Cardinal defense along the way. After moving into Cardinal territory on a 41-yard completion from Garoppolo to fullback Kyle Juszczyk, the 49ers were given a first-and-goal at the 10-yard line after a 27-yard third-down pass interference call on linebacker Jordan Hicks. Garoppolo connected three plays later with running back Jerick McKinnon for a 5-yard touchdown pass to give the 49ers a 20-17 lead.


That lead was short-lived, thanks to a nine-play, 75-yard drive that put the Cardinals up 24-20 with just over five minutes to play. The drive was capped by a one-yard touchdown run by Kenyan Drake, which was set up by a 36-yard third-down completion from Murray to Hopkins.


The 49ers attempted to answer the score with a game-winning drive and were able to advance the ball to the Cardinals' 16-yard line with 33 seconds to play. But the 49ers turned the ball over on downs, giving the Cardinals their first opening day win since 2015.

Garoppolo finished the day with 259 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions on 19 of 33 passing, while Mostert ran for 56 yards on 15 carries and caught four passes for 95 yards and a touchdown. Murray threw for 230 yards, one touchdown and one interception on 26 of 40 passing for the Cardinals while also leading the way on the ground with 13 carries for 91 yards and a touchdown. Hopkins led all receivers in the game with 14 catches for 151 yards.

The 49ers (0-1) will head to the road next week for the first time this season, traveling to the East Coast to face the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey (10 am PT, FOX). The Jets come into the game with an 0-1 record after falling 27-17 in Week 1 to the Buffalo Bills.


ARI Team Stats SF
404 Total Yards 366
224 Passing Yards 243
180 Rushing Yards 123
5.8 Avg Yards per Pass 7.8
5 Avg Yards per Run 4.9
0 Fumbles Lost 0
1 Int Thrown 0
2 Sacks Allowed 3
31:26 Time of Pos 28:34
9 Penalties 5

Cardinals Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
Kyler Murray 26/40 230 1 1
Rushing Att Yds Avg TDs
Kyler Murray 13 91 7 1
Kenyan Drake 16 60 3.8 1
Chase Edmonds 6 26 4.3 0
Chris Streveler 1 3 3 0
Receiving Rec Tgt Yds TDs
DeAndre Hopkins 14 16 151 0
Larry Fitzgerald 4 5 34 0
Dan Arnold 2 2 21 0
Chase Edmonds 3 5 19 1
Kenyan Drake 2 2 5 0
Maxx Williams 0 2 0 0
Christian Kirk 1 5 0 0
Fumbles Fum Lost
Chase Edmonds 1 0
Kicking FG Att Lg XP
Zane Gonzalez 1 3 56 3
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
Andy Lee 4 47.8 1 53
Kickoff Returns Yds Avg TDs Lg
Chase Edmonds 42 42 0 42
Punt Returns Att Avg TDs Lg
Christian Kirk 2 4 0 8
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
De'Vondre Campbell 5-2 0 0 0
Jordan Hicks 4-2 0 0 0
Chris Banjo 3-3 0 0 0
Dre Kirkpatrick 3-0 0 0 0
Isaiah Simmons 3-0 0 0 0
Haason Reddick 2-1 0 0 0
Angelo Blackson 2-0 1 0 0
Zach Allen 2-0 1 0 0
Budda Baker 10-5 0 0 0
Tanner Vallejo 1-1 0 0 0
Chandler Jones 1-1 1 0 0
Zeke Turner 1-0 0 0 0
Jalen Thompson 1-0 0 0 0
Corey Peters 1-0 0 0 0
Devon Kennard 1-0 0 0 0
DeAndre Hopkins 1-0 0 0 0

49ers Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
Jimmy Garoppolo 19/33 259 2 0
Rushing Att Yds Avg TDs
Raheem Mostert 15 56 3.7 0
Jerick McKinnon 3 24 8 0
Tevin Coleman 4 18 4.5 0
George Kittle 1 9 9 0
Jimmy Garoppolo 1 9 9 0
Kyle Juszczyk 1 7 7 0
Receiving Rec Tgt Yds TDs
Raheem Mostert 4 5 95 1
George Kittle 4 5 44 0
Kyle Juszczyk 1 2 41 0
Kendrick Bourne 2 5 34 0
Jerick McKinnon 3 5 20 1
Jordan Reed 2 2 12 0
Trent Taylor 2 5 7 0
Tevin Coleman 1 2 6 0
Dante Pettis 0 1 0 0
Kicking FG Att Lg XP
Robbie Gould 2 2 52 2
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
Mitch Wishnowsky 4 44.5 3 51
Kickoff Returns Yds Avg TDs Lg
Jerick McKinnon 16 16 0 16
Punt Returns Att Avg TDs Lg
Trent Taylor 2 10.5 0 12
Dante Pettis 1 8 0 8
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
Fred Warner 6-4 0 0 0
Kwon Alexander 6-3 0 0 0
Richard Sherman 4-0 0 0 0
Nick Bosa 3-3 0 0 1
Dre Greenlaw 3-2 0 0 0
Jaquiski Tartt 3-1 0 1 0
Kerry Hyder 3-0 1 0 0
Jimmie Ward 2-2 0 0 0
K'Waun Williams 2-1 0 0 0
Emmanuel Moseley 11-4 0 0 0
Dee Ford 1-2 0 0 0
Ahkello Witherspoon 1-0 0 0 0
Mitch Wishnowsky 1-0 0 0 0
Kyle Nelson 1-0 0 0 0
Tarvarius Moore 1-0 0 0 0
Kevin Givens 1-0 0 0 0
D.J. Jones 1-0 1 0 0


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