Every game has winners and losers, so who were the ones for today’s game?
Let’s take a look:
#1. Winner — Team Gannon
The Cardinals’ head coach might have been mocked for talk earlier this season about having “fire in your gut” but boy...did the Cardinals once again play like it.
The team is now 3-1 against the spread this season and there’s a good argument they could have been 4-0 or that they played well enough to deserve a 3-1 start to the season.
Josh Dobbs played well, hit throws, didn’t turn it over and James Conner gashed the Niners on the ground.
There were a few big plays by someone who we will mention a bit later who stole the show but everything from Gannon’s crew showed that even though they were outclassed, they weren’t going down without a fight.
#1. Loser — Penalties by the Cards
Arizona ended up with 9 penalties for 55 yards and another untimely penalty by Elijah Wilkerson in a critical situation but the first half really set Arizona back.
7 penalties in the first half today for the Arizona Cardinals.— Alex Clancy (@ClancysCorner) October 1, 2023
Penalties are the most glaring issue for Jonathan Gannon during his first year as head coach.
If Arizona is going to start winning, they’ll need to button up a bit. The team has seemed more disciplined overall but the Niners clearly spooked them.
#2. Winner — Michael Wilson
Wilson had two touchdowns on the day including his first NFL touchdown and had his best game as a pro. They look like they found something in the 3rd round rookie out of Stanford.
Michael Wilson is SPECIAL pic.twitter.com/C8vsmsmy2B— PHNX Cardinals (@PHNX_Cardinals) October 1, 2023
Rookies with 50+ routes and 2+ yards per route run heading into today:— Adam Harstad (@AdamHarstad) October 1, 2023
(Jayden Reed was at 1.97, Zay Flowers was at 1.94.)
He’s earned not just starting snaps but he’s earned playing time now and into the future.
#2. Loser — Arizona’s Backup Defensive Linemen/Safeties
Look, Arizona was missing Jonathan Ledbetter and Carlos Watkins and is still missing Budda Baker and it showed in the run game.
The Niners are great with Christian McCaffrey but...166 yards and 4 TD’s is still a lot. Depleted as they’ve been, you hope Arizona can find depth there and get guys back as they were overmatched today.
#3. Winner — The starting quarterbacks
Brock Purdy was insane with only a SINGLE incomplete pass today, but goodness, didn’t Josh Dobbs look better than he ever has before this season?
He got 28-of-41 passing for 265 yards and 2 TD’s and zero interceptions and should have had a 3rd TD.
Josh Dobbs' play could lead you to question everything about the way the NFL develops quarterbacks.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) October 1, 2023
So...what NFL team will Josh Dobbs be starting for next year?— Blake Allen Murphy (@blakemurphy7) October 1, 2023
He’s been better than anyone expected him to be in Arizona as it wasn’t him but rather his receivers who let him down at times today.
#3. Loser — The Spread Bettors
The Cardinals weren’t as good as people might have said they were after beating the Cowboys last week.
But they’d been undefeated against the spread so far this year only to see their last shot at that fall short on a pair of dropped TDs with less than 30 seconds left.
Was a fun moment in the 3rd Quarter, but the Cardinals are who we thought they were today— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) October 1, 2023
Projected for 14.75 points
Spread was 14
Lost by 19
NOOOOOOOO— Jess Root (@senorjessroot) October 1, 2023
Apologies to the bad beat there.
That’s all for now.
Arizona plays a 1-4 Bengals team at home next week. Will Joe Burrow play? And if so, how effective will he be?