Arizona Cardinals: 5 things we learned vs 49ers
By Scott Allen
The Arizona Cardinals defeated the San Francisco 49ers 47-7 on Sunday afternoon
The Arizona Cardinals did things on offense and defense we knew they could do and have the potential to do. To watch them dominate the San Francisco 49ers the way they did, it was exciting but also a new experience to to see.
The Cardinals scored 40 points or more in consecutive games for the first time since 1969. It was the most points they ever scored against the 49ers.
Sep 27, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde (28) is tackled in the end zone by Arizona Cardinals inside linebacker Kevin Minter (51) and strong safety Deone Bucannon (20) for a safety during the second half at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
First thing learned on Sunday is the Cardinals defense is better than advertised. After finishing 24th overall in defense in 2014 when the Cardinals slipped a bit in the final five weeks. Then after the season the Cardinals lost defensive coordinator Todd Bowles to the New York Jets.
In the first two games this season, the Cardinals defense has been good but Sunday they were great. Against the New Orleans Saints, they allowed quarterback Drew Brees to throw for 355 yards. Against the Chicago Bears, they allowed quarterback Jay Cutler to go 8-8 before a pick six and backup Jimmy Clausen went 14-23 on a pick.
Also against the Bears they allowed receiver Joshua Bellamy to break free untouched for a 48-yard touchdown. It was blown coverage by cornerback Patrick Peterson. Even the running game was going in the first half with running backs Matt Forte and Jeremy Langford to run free. Then things turned in the second half.
On Sunday against the 49ers though, things got started right. Before you could blink the Cardinals had two interceptions of quarterback Colin Kapernick and two defensive scores by cornerback Justin Bethel and safety Tyrann Mathieu. It was Mathieu’s second interception of the season at the time. He added one more later in the game.
On Sunday the Cardinals gave up just 156 yards to the 49ers. That 156 yards, total. Of the 156, only 53 were in the air, the biggest issue of the Cardinals defense the first two weeks.
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