Arizona 16, San Francisco 20
OK, I know that Steve Breaston, Kurt Warner, and Anquan Boldin were not 100% but, come on, this was the 49ers. Apparently, Mike Singletary was able to whip that team into shape in the offseason. San Fran looked scary good (or did the Cardinals’ defense just not look up to snuff?!) Also, I don’t think I’ve seen Larry Fitzgerald EVER drop a pass before although he did score the team’s only TD. And Warner’s 2 INTs were uncharacteristic as well. The offensive line didn’t give him much protection either as he was sacked 3 times. For an old guy with a surgically-repaired hip, this can prove detrimental, as it did.
Penalties were the downfall of the Cards I believe. And stupid ones too. 12 penalties for 82 yards which prompted Ken Whisenhunt to proclaim that those guilty of such offenses will not play. Harsh? Yes. Necessary? Also yes.
Enough of the bad stuff…on to the good stuff – and there was a lot of that as well. Tim Hightower only carried the ball 8 times for 15 yards but was a regular Darren Sproles with 12 receptions for 121 yards; leading all receivers on BOTH teams. WTG Tim, glad I drafted you (although not nearly as glad as I am for drafting Drew Brees…holy cow!! Sorry Tim!) Jerheme Urban pulled in 5 catches for 74 yards and 1st-round pick Beanie Wells, in his debut, managed 7 carries for 29 yards.
Defensively, Chike Okeafor, Darnell Dockett, and Bertrand Berry each recorded a sack; however, Shaun Hill, despite losing a fumble, did not throw any INTs.
Neil Rackers was perfect (I drafted him too!) with 3 FGs and an XP.
Interestingly, of the last 7 out of 8 matchups, the winning margin was 7 points or less.
Next week the Cards travel to Jacksonville to take on “pocket rocket” Maurice Jones-Drew and the Jaguars, also coming off a close divisional loss (to the Colts.)