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Cardinals vs. 49ers final score: Defense scores 2 TDs in 47-7 rout of San Francisco

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The Cardinals came out hot in the first half and never let go of the 49ers throat.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

First Quarter

The Cardinals started the game right by hitting Fitzgerald for two first down catches, but unfortunately the drive ended in a punt after poor rushing and a missed a third pass to Fitzgerald.

On the 49ers first pass play, Kaepernick was intercepted by Justin Bethel who returned it for an easy touchdown. The next series the 49ers struggled to run, but gained a first down off a 10 yard pass to Carlos Hyde. However, the very next play Colin Kaepernick proceeded to throw another interception this time by Tyrann Mathieu who proceeded to saunter 33 yards for a second touchdown.

Cardinals 14-0 after 3 total series.

The 49ers did move the ball on their third series, but ended up punting with 6:00 minutes left in the quarter. Palmer led the Cards down the field, including to Fitz for catches of 23, 16 and 17 yards and the Cardinals found themselves on the on the 2 yard line.

Second Quarter

After a penalty, Chris Johnson proceeded to run the ball 6 yards into the end zone. Carlos Hyde began to show why he replaced Frank Gore beginning to bully his way for first downs, but the defense was holding up and continued to force the 49ers to punt. Once more Palmer and the offense marched the team down the field and after a 27 yard John Brown catch, Chris Johnson ran the ball in for his second touchdown.

Carlos Hyde continued to will San Francisco down the field only to be stifled by another offensive penalty. The ensuing Cardinals offensive drive had David Johnson at running back, but he didn't get much and the Cards punted.

Drew Butler might be the worst punter in the NFL. After another poor punt that was away from a gunner and had very little hang time, San Fran's sole feel-good story Jerryd Hayne made a 37-yard return which in three plays led to the 49ers scoring their only touchdown of the half.

With 2:00 minutes left in the half the Cardinals got the ball back only for Palmer to throw his first interception of the year after he was hit and overthrew Michael Floyd.

Once more the Cardinals defense came out and made a huge play. Tyrann Mathieu again made a huge interception and returned the ball 17 yards with only 30 seconds left. Palmer and company were up to the task and got the Cardinals to the 5 yard line with 1 second left. Chandler Catanzaro finished with a field goal.

Cardinals 31, 49ers 7

Third Quarter

San Francisco came out after the half and it was just more of the same offensive ineptitude. The first play of the half Kaepernick threw a pass to Torrey Smith only to have Jerraud Powers to intercept the ball making it four interceptions on the day.

Chris Johnson turned on his afterburners and took a short pass 40 yards allowing the next play to be the first passing touchdown to Larry Fitzgerald.

The next series had the 49ers continue riding on the back of Carlos Hyde, who is an absolute beast breaking tackle after tackle. Happily it wasn't enough and the series ended in the first sack of the game by Frostee Rucker forcing the 49ers to punt.

The Cardinals continued to struggle offensively while the 49ers defense started to come alive. Palmer was sacked for the first time all year on third down and the Caridnals were forced to punt. However, Bethel made a spectacular save to pin the ball on the '9ers one yard line.

With this type of game you should know what came next. Frostee Rucker and Rodney Gunter blew up the run play allowing Kevin Minter to sack Hyde. The Cardinals got the ball and just began to control the clock running it down to the fourth quarter and punted the ball finally.

Fourth Quarter

The 49ers struggled to generate any offensive output and punted once more. Chris Johnson, David Johnson and Stepfan Taylor then moved the ball down the field on various runs -- both Johnson's standing out with four runs over 5 yards -- and finished the drive with a second Larry Fitzgerald touchdown with 5:00 minutes left in the game.

Kaepernick finally started moving the ball through the air, relying on Garrett Celek and Mike Davis' running ability. The 49ers got into the Cards territory only to be stopped and punt the ball away with 2:00 minutes left.

Finally, Arians pulled Palmer and put Drew Stanton into the game who finished the game with three kneels and ending the blowout.

Final score: Cardinals 47, 49ers 7

Statistics

  • Carson Palmer - 20/32 for 311 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 1 sack
  • Larry Fitzgerald - 9 rec. for 132 yards, 2 TDs
  • Chris Johnson - 22 rushes, 110 yards, 2 TDs
  • The defense ended with 4 interceptions (2 for touchdowns) by Justin Bethel, Jerraud Powers and two for Tyrann Mathieu
  • 1 safety by Kevin Minter
  • 2 sacks by Frostee Rucker and LaMarr Woodley.
They scored 16 points themselves. This game was an absolute blowout and frankly makes sets the Cardinals up as the best team in the NFC, if not the NFL.