It was an absolute must win for the Arizona Cardinals, and they responded with a 20-10 win over the San Francisco 49ers.
The first half was about as good as it could have been for the Arizona Cardinals.
Drew Stanton was steady if not unspectacular... As expected.
The Cardinals leaned on the running game quite a bit and Adrian Peterson answered the bell... As expected.
The defense looked the best it had in weeks against a really, really bad 49ers offense with C.J. Beathard, as expected.
All of that led to a nice 14-3 lead at the half.
It should have been more.
After a quick completion to John Brown for 52 yards, the Cardinals offense stalled. Yet, it was only a 38 yard field goal for Phil Dawson, and another miss.
It almost was disaster, as the 49ers gained 20 yards on the next two plays, but then Tyrann Mathieu made his first Honey Badger play of the season, forcing a fumble and Patrick Peterson scooped it up and took it down to the five yard line.
From there, it was academic, a three yard touchdown to Jaron Brown.
Then, Andy Lee and Bradley Pinion showed off their skills, as the next six possessions of the game resulted in punts by both teams.
The 49ers broke through with a nice six play, 58 yard drive for their first three points of the day.
It was just what the Cardinals needed, as they responded sith a seven play, 75 yard touchdown drive of their own.
Those 13 plays and 133 yards of offense were more than the previous six drives by both teams combined. As both teams on those previous six possessions combined for 20 plays for 27 yards...COMBINED! That's the type of game we had going on.
The 49ers though, came out and established the running game and then Beathard got into a rhythm and carried one into the endzone. Making the Cardinals get slightly uncomfortable again, with a 14-10 lead only.
The Cardinals responded, getting an eight play drive that resulted in a punt, then forcing a three and out for the 49ers.
They then went on a 12 play 65 yard drive for a much needed three points, to give them that seven point lead.
The Cardinals came back with another tough drive that, again resulted in a field goal from Dawson and that was it.
Of course, the end of the game was marred by a dumb late hit from Antoine Bethea on Beathard that led to some shoving and punching and two Cardinals getting ejected, Frostee Rucker, which looked deserved and Haason Reddick, which I must have missed his infraction.
Then, Karlos Dansby nabbed an interception, which ended the 49ers last gasp on the day.
Adrian Peterson had a career high in carries at 37 for 159 yards.