One thing that you can say about the Arizona Cardinals’ 23-14 win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday – it was not pretty, there was very little flash but it was efficient – which in the grand scheme of things is all that matters in the NFL. For the Cardinals, it was one time-consuming drive after another which left the 49ers’ offense on the sidelines for 37:05; Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner led Arizona on 5 good drives which led to 2 touchdowns and 3 field goals by placekicker Neil Rackers.
The Cardinals ground out 18 first down to the 49ers 13 – 12 of Arizona’s first downs taking place in the second half, keeping San Francisco’s defense on the field for much too long. The 49ers also coughed up the ball 5 times, including a lost fumble by linebacker Takeo Spikes on an unusual kickoff and an interception by quarterback J.T. O’Sullivan. The only highlight for San Francisco was the 41-yard TD run by running back Frank Gore.
Warner had a unspectacular but efficient outing, going 19-of-30 for 197 yards with a TD pass while the aforementioned O’Sullivan had an OK effort, going 14-of-20 for 195 yards and an interception. Edgerrin James led all Cardinals rushers with 100 yards on 26 carries while rookie Tim Hightower scored a rushing TD and rushed for 13 yards while also catching 3 balls for 21 yards. The aforementioned Gore led the 49ers with 14 rushes for 96 yards and a TD along with 4 receptions for 55 yards.
Anquan Boldin led the Arizona receivers with 8 catches for 82 yards while Steve Breaston caught 3 balls for 54 yards; Larry Fitzgerald added 3 catches for 31 yards and a score. Gore led the 49ers with 4 catches for 55 yards while tight end Vernon Davis added 51 yards on 3 receptions. The Cardinals (1-0) return home to host the Miami Dolphins (0-1) on September 14 while the 49ers (0-1) fly north to Seattle to take on the Seahawks (0-1) – also on September 14.