3 reasons the Arizona Cardinals lost by two possessions to the 49ers

While the Arizona Cardinals didn’t quite lose in a blowout that everyone was expecting, they nonetheless gave up 45 points to the San Francisco 49ers.

San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals
San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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Jordan Mason
San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

3 - Rushing defense once again failed to hold

The Arizona Cardinals haven’t done a good job stopping opposing rushing attacks all season, and with Christian McCaffrey running the ball, you knew the Redbirds faced a tall task. McCaffrey was quick to disappoint fans who hoped the Cards would step up and at least contain him, as he ran for 115 yards on 18 carries, 6.4 yards per, and a touchdown. 

Overall, the Cardinals defense allowed 5.5 yards per carry and 144 rushing yards, and the defense may not get any better in the category this season. It’s clear “Big Red” needs to add talent here in the offseason, and doing so may be a top priority in free agency or better yet, the draft. 

If the Cardinals want to beat the Chicago Bears in Week 16, they must at least play respectable football in all three areas that plagued them. They have shown themselves at least capable at times, so perhaps we will at least see them do just enough to squeak out a win on the road, but they need to improve their passing and rushing defense, while someone in the receiving unit must step up.

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(Statistics provided by ESPN.com)