USA TODAY Sports
The 2012 season is finally over.
After starting the game well, the Arizona Cardinals completely crashed and burned against their division rivals. What a fitting end to this season.
Initially, the offense played well, with the recently signed Brian Hoyer getting the first start of his career. Hoyer inspired hope among the Cardinals fanbase, leading some very well executed drives, something Cardinals fans hadn't seen since the Kolb games. By the 2nd quarter, the Cardinals even had a 6-0 lead against the 49ers. However, it all went downhill from there. Hoyer ended the game 19-34 for 225 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT. Michael Floyd was one of the few bright spots, taking 8 receptions in for 166 yards and a TD, a career high (Although he did have a fumble). After making remarks about he how did not expect to be back with the team next year, Beanie Wells was benched for the entire game, with RB William Powell getting the start. Powell rushed 14 times for 52 yards, and on several plays made a strong argument as to why he should make the team next year.
The acclaimed Cardinals defense had a tough day against QB Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers offense. Kaepernick went 16-28 for 276 yards, 2 TD's, and no INT's, while backup Alex Smith even made an appearance, completing his only pass of the day for a 6 yard gain. WR Michael Crabtree took in 8 receptions for a career high 172 yards, leading the 49ers receiving corps, while star RB Frank Gore also rushed for a TD, taking a 2 yard carry to the right to put 6 up on the board.
On Special Teams, K David Akers had a terrible day (Much to the delight of Cardinals fans), shanking 2 of his 4 FG's. K Jay Feely was perfect for the Cardinals, making both of his attempts, while P Dave Zastudil had a good day too. Larod Stephens-Howling led the Cardinals return specialists, taking 5 KR's back for 109 yards.
The time of possession for the Cardinals was 23:57, vs. 36:03 for the 49ers. They had 11 1st downs, 6 punts, and 5 penalties, which resulted in 34 yards for the 49ers.
As the Cardinals are not making the Playoffs this year, this was their last game until August of next year. As sad as we all are to see football end, I think I speak for every Cardinals fan when I say that I'm glad this season is over.
Now on to an off-season that should be full of changes.