The Arizona Cardinals controlled their own destiny for a playoff spot. All that was necessary a victory over their division rival, the San Francisco 49ers. Yet that didn’t happen.
Kyler Murray and the Cardinals offense looked good on their opening drive. Converting on both third downs of the drive. The biggest play came on a 38 yard pass play to wide receiver Christian Kirk who got away with a bit of a push off on cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon.
Yet San Francisco’s defense held Arizona to a field goal.
Running back Jeff Wilson Jr became the focal point of the 49ers offense with Raheem Mostert out. He scored the only touchdown in the first half for either team on a 21 yard reception.
He finished with 22 carries for 183 yards with a long of 34.
49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan did his best to make the game simple for C.J. Beathard. He made throws when he needed to and ended up with 182 yards and three touchdown passes.
Kyle Juszczyk caught the two other passes from Beathard. The only blemish for the 49ers quarterback came with time winding down in the first half. He fumbled the football and Arizona got the football back with eight second left.
Though the officials missed a clear and obvious kick by Isaiah Simmons to recover the football. Fortunately the fumble didn’t lead to any points for the Cardinals.
Even more impressive is that Arizona held a sizable advantage of plays over San Francisco. Yet wound only adding nine more points after their opening drive field goal.
Running back Kenyan Drake struggled getting going. He carried the ball 18 times for a total or 45 yards and did score the only touchdown for the Cardinals. Murray was the leading rusher for the Cardinals with 75 yards on eight carries with a long of 30.
Murray’s longest run came on a 4th and 1 play. Where Witherspoon failed to contain the outside and seemed to give the Cardinals a tremendous opportunity for a touchdown and a two point conversion to tie the game up at 20.
On the next play though San Francisco got pressure and forcing Murray to roll and throw off his back foot. Witherpoon made up for his blunder by intercepting the pass.
San Francisco then drove down the field, used the clock to their advantage, and it ended up with a missed field goal by Robbie Gould.
Leaving Murray with one last chance to tie the game with no timeouts. The 49ers were able to force a turnover on downs.
On the fourth down play Murray took a hit from defensive end Alex Barrett and it took him some time to get up. Reports are indicating it’s a right leg injury.
Noteworthy about this game for the 49ers defense was locking down DeAndre Hopkins who caught eight passes for 48 yards. The most impressive was a pass breakup by Jason Verrett in the end zone.
George Kittle led the 49ers in receiving yards with 92 on four receptions. Also worth noting it was the first time in nine games that the 49ers offense didn’t commit at least two turnovers in a game.
Linebacker Fred Warner was all over the field for the 49ers defense. Registering 14 tackles, 3 passes defended and a forced fumble.
Defensive end Kerry Hyder Jr continued his impressive season setting a career-high afer recording his 8.5 sack of the year.