The San Francisco 49ers won a thriller on the road against the Arizona Cardinals. This game left some questions about the secondary but never the less, the 49ers got the victory and the 49ers are the fifth seed in the playoffs. They will travel to Wisconsin to play the Green Bay Packers in the Wildcard round of the playoffs.
The 49ers came out on fire against the Cardinals as they jumped out to a 17-0 lead. Anquan Boldin had over 100 yards receiving in the first half. He had a nice 63 yard reception in which he got a key block by Quinton Patton. He finished the game with nine receptions for 149 yards and one touchdown.
Colin Kaepernick was able to put together another solid passing game this week. He threw for 310 yards and two touchdowns. His best throw was his last throw. Kaepernick threw a nice touch pass down the right sideline. Quinton Patton went up and high pointed the ball as he made the catch 29 yards down the field. This catch set up a game winning 40 yard field goal by Phil Dawson. Dawson also made a 56 yard field on the 49ers last drive. He came through in a major way for the 49ers.
Quinton Patton made the best play of his young career. He took full advantage of the opportunity that was given to him when Mario Manningham was placed on injured reserve. Patton took over as the number three receiver and pretty much secured his spot there throughout the playoffs and probably into next season. He has been a pupil of Anquan Boldin’s. Boldin has shown him the ropes and how to be a professional athlete.
“The football gods blessed me and Kaep trusted me. Was just trying to make a play. I just tried to go up and get the ball. Just like Anquan always tells me, when it is in the air it’s your ball. He told me this is where you become a man right here. Had to go make a play.”
Navorro Bowman continued to make his case for the Defensive Player of the Year with another strong showing for the 49ers defense. Bowman had an interception early in the game. He had a sack along with a tackle for a loss as well. Bowman also forced a fumble late in the game. His sack made it third and 14 late in the fourth quarter. Carson Palmer found Andre Roberts in the back corner of the end zone for 34 yard touchdown that tied the game.
The 49ers secondary did not play well against the Cardinals. They continue to struggle against an up tempo passing game. The corners seem to always play off and don’t come up to jam the wide receivers at the line of scrimmage. This results in the receiver getting a free release and getting right into their route with out any disruption.
Carson Palmer passed for 407 yards against the 49ers. They were able to move the ball at will in the fourth quarter. It all started with a 25 yard pass to Andre Roberts on third and seven from the Cardinals 12 yard line. The secondary was very loose in their coverage and gave up some big plays. The pass rush fo rthe 49ers was neutralized which gave Palmer time to sit back in the pocket and let plays develop.
Carson Palmer became the first player to pass for 4000 yards as a quarterback for three different teams.
Frank Gore only average 1.1 yards per carry as he had 13 carries for 14 yards. The 49ers as a unit had 83 yards rushing on the day.
Joe Staley showed his athleticism when he made Daryl Washington miss tackling him after he made a 14 yard reception by way of play action.
Michael Crabtree only had three receptions for 29 yards but was beating Patrick Peterson in his routes. He made Peterson fall twice after turning him around with double moves.
Carlos Rogers left the game late with a hamstring strain and his status is currently unknown for next week.
Phil Dawson had his streak of 27 consecutive field goals made when he missed a 24 yard field goal attempt. The kick was wide left. The replay showed Andy Lee was unable to spin the ball so that the laces were facing the opposite direction.
The Cardinals out gained the 49ers in total offense 482 to 375. They also converted on three out of four fourth down attempts.
The 49ers will end the year with a 12-4 record. Despite having one of the better records in the NFL, they will be a wildcard because the Seattle Seahawks won the NFC West after finishing with a 13-3 record which was the best in the NFL. They will hit the road next week and face the Green Bay Packers. The Packers were the winners of the NFC North after Aaron Rodgers came back from injury to beat the Chicago Bears in a win or go home game.