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49ers roll past Cardinals: Rapid reactions

Marc Adams
Dec 18, 2023 at 7:52 AM

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The San Francisco 49ers won for the sixth straight week, beating the Arizona Cardinals 45-29. The game was tight in the first half, but the 49ers pulled away in the second half and dominated the Cardinals like we expected. It wasn't easy, though. The Cardinals ran the ball extremely well, gaining 234 yards on the ground. Normally, you lose games when the other team runs for that many yards, but the 49ers offense was the difference.

Here are my rapid reactions. They are my live notes and reactions during the game.

  • The 49ers had a season-high seven rookies in uniform on Sunday. I think this will end up being a good class of draft picks.
  • Not a good start for the 49ers defense. A miscue by the secondary, and some missed tackles allowed the Cardinals to take an early 7-0 lead.
  • But never fear, Brock Purdy and the 49ers offense answered on their first possession to tie the game.
  • How did Deebo Samuel get that wide-open on the first touchdown?

  • Charvarius Ward has been playing out of his mind lately. The pick-six was a thing of beauty, and the 49ers defense needed it.

  • Nick Bosa. Sack. What else is new?
  • Dre Greenlaw missed a tackle that allowed the Cardinals to pick up an extra five yards on a third down that led to a 58-yard field goal. Had Greenlaw made the tackle, Arizona likely wouldn't even attempt the field goal.
  • Still too many missed tackles by the defense.

  • Losing Kalia Davis in the second quarter was rough for a defense that was already missing two starting defensive tackles. Somehow they managed.
  • It's impressive how Purdy is always looking to make plays down the field.
  • I almost threw up when Purdy and Christian McCaffrey went down. I'm glad they're both ok.
  • Ronnie Bell should not return punts anymore. He's put the ball on the ground too many times this season. Maybe it's the number, but seeing number 10 fielding punts and fumbling gives me PTSD. Thanks a lot, Kyle Williams.
  • Back-to-back big plays from Purdy to start the second half. First, he read a blitz and hit George Kittle behind the blitz. Then he scrambled to his left after Jake Brendel missed a block, and hit McCaffrey for a touchdown. He's special.

  • Purdy is impressive for a game manager.
  • How did Mitch Wishnowski get that third-quarter punt off? I thought for sure it was going to be blocked. By the way, I had a stat that the 49ers offense has scored more points than they have punts. That's incredible.
  • The 49ers defense played the pass well, but the run defense was not good.
  • The run defense was beyond not good. They were pitiful. I guess missing Arik Armstead and Javon Hargrave matters.
  • Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk both had multiple balls they should have caught. Those two don't usually let catches get away.
  • The 49ers receivers and running backs block for each other better than any out there.
  • McCaffrey has such great vision. He finds the holes as well as anyone.
  • I think McCaffrey likes playing the Cardinals. That's seven touchdowns against them this season. Want another crazy stat? McCaffrey has scored more touchdowns this season than the entire Carolina Panthers team. Do you still want to call that a bad trade, ESPN?

  • Deommodore Lenoir is feisty. I like it. Let's hope his rib injury doesn't keep him out long.
  • The 49ers defense was terrible in this game. It was mainly against the run, but they weren't good.
  • Jordan Mason is a closer. I like it when he comes in and just runs through people.

  • What a beautiful back-shoulder touchdown pass to Samuel. Purdy is really special. I may have mentioned that already.

  • This could make some people mad, but the 49ers offense is better than the 49ers defense.
  • Arizona's tight end Trey McBride is really good. How do we get that guy on our team?
  • It was nice seeing some of those rookies get in the game.

The 49ers are one game closer to getting the number one seed and home-field advantage for the playoffs. They did clinch the NFC West, so that's a step in the right direction.

Next up is a Christmas night date with the Baltimore Ravens in merry Santa Clara.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.
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