Arizona Cardinals vs San Francisco 49ers: Game balls


A long hard search for game-ball type performances from the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday afternoon

The Arizona Cardinals defeated the San Francisco 49ers 19-13 on Sunday afternoon in Santa Clara, California.  That’s the good news.  The not-so-good news is that it was a difficult decision to decide who from the Cardinals gets the balls.

Both the offense and defense struggled for much of the afternoon.  These are the top three performances in my estimation in the six-point victory.

Game ball #1:

Tyrann Mathieu

The Honey Badger led the Cardinals with 13 tackles on Sunday.  He was busy.  He had an interception of 49ers quarterback Blaine Gabbert in the first quarter.  He also had two passes defensed.  A couple of his tackles on 49ers receiver Patrick Peterson were big-play savers.

Game ball #2:

Larry Fitzgerald

Fitz was probably the busiest guy on offense Sunday.  He hauled in 10 receptions for 66 yards.  He was the go-to guy when the Cardinals needed a third-down conversion.  Fitz missed out on a couple of chances in the end zone for a touchdown but it wasn’t for the lack of trying.

Game ball #3:

Carson Palmer

He didn’t throw any touchdowns on Sunday but he also didn’t turn the ball over.  I loved his competitiveness in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s victory.  He threw a great 34-yard pass to receiver J.J. Nelson down to the one on the game-winning touchdown drive.

Palmer struggled to find an open receiver on that final drive as he had all afternoon.  However he found an opening and ran the ball in from seven-yards after the Cardinals had been backed up by a loss and a penalty.  You never like seeing Palmer get himself out in the open field like that but in this case I think it was the right call.  It was that type of game.