Cardinals hold off scrappy 49ers team in Week 5 to remain unbeaten

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) James Conner
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) James Conner /

By defeating the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, the Arizona Cardinals improved their record to 5-0 for the first time since 1974.

Whenever the San Francisco 49ers come to town, the Arizona Cardinals know they’re going to have a battle on their hands. Well, Sunday was no different as the Cardinals escaped the field inside State Farm Stadium with a 17-10 win over the 49ers.

Arizona scored on their first offensive drive of the game and it felt like it was going to be another day filled with a ton of points for the NFL’s top offense. However, the Cardinals only managed to score three points on their next seven offensive drives of the game.

Only leading by a score of 10-7 with less than six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray connected with DeAndre Hopkins for a sensational nine-yard touchdown in the corner of the end zone to seal the victory for the Cardinals.

Arizona Cardinals ruin debut for San Francisco 49ers rookie quarterback

Sunday marked the first NFL start for San Francisco rookie quarterback Trey Lance and Arizona’s defense quickly let him know that he still has a long way to go before he becomes a threat in the NFC West.

Lance did rush for 89 yards (5.6 yards per carry), but he only completed 52 percent of his passes for 192 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception. The 49ers rookie passer wasn’t terrible in his debut, but the Cardinals’ defense did well at making sure he didn’t lead his team to a win.

After there was some talk earlier this week about Hopkins getting off to a bit of a quiet start this season, he proved on Sunday why he should still be regarded as the best wide receiver in the NFL. Along with his touchdown catch, the Cardinals No. 1 receiver had some key receptions down the stretch that cemented the victory over San Francisco.

Arizona will have to keep an eye on Murray this week as he was dealing with an arm injury during the game that appeared to impact his throwing strength. It might not be something that causes him to miss time, but it could affect his performance during the Cardinals’ next few games.

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Arizona won’t have much time to celebrate their latest win as they’ll be taking their 5-0 record on the road to take on the Cleveland Browns and the league’s best rushing offense. If the Cardinals manage to walk out of next Sunday’s game in Cleveland with a 6-0 record, then there should be no debate about who the best team in the NFL is after the first six weeks.