If the Arizona Cardinals are going to repeat as NFC Champs, they are going to have to not allow themselves to fall into performances like Monday night in San Francisco. The Cards, who a week ago looked like world beaters in beating the Vikings at home, were beaten badly by the Niners 24-9.
Arizona falls to 8-5 on the season, and while they should still not have an issue winning the NFC West, they have shown at times this season they have a tendency to fall into lapses. “We lost this game ourselves,” Cards tackle Darnell Dockett said.
The Cardinals had five first half turnovers, and after not throwing a pick in 130 attempts, Kurt Warner threw two in the first half. It was a sloppy night on offense for Arizona, who seemed to have found their stride vs Minnesota last week.
“We were wanting to play against an opponent that had beaten us earlier this year, and it was on Monday Night Football, and we had an emotional game against Minnesota the week before,” Ken Whisenhunt said. “We were excited and we lost our discipline, and that’s something you cannot do.”
Warner was just 16-for-29 for 178 yards and he was sacked four times. “It’s a crazy game sometimes,” Warner said. “It’s like anything in life. You get to a point and you think, ‘OK, maybe now we’re there.’ And then you find out you’re not quite there yet. That’s what we continue to find out.”
The Niners defense held Arizona to just 245 yards of offense, while led by Frank Gore and Alex Smith, they had 327 yards. Gore had 167 yards with a touchdown. He rushed 25 times, making sure that Warner and the Cards were off the field. Arizona only had the ball for 23:15, while San Fran had the ball for 36:45.