The 49ers once again proved why they are indeed the class of the NFC West. They make the leap to 6-2 after crushing the Cardinals in the “Big Toaster” by three touchdowns.
The game did start off promising for Arizona. The fans were rowdy, causing the 49ers to burn a couple of timeouts and forcing some penalties. We saw right off the bat what Arizona’s game plan was on their very first drive- quick sticks, screens, and overall some very high percentage passes. Much to the despair of John Skelton and his team, the 49ers were on their game this night. Alex Smith dissected the Cards completing 18-19 (95%) of his passes for 232 yards with 3 scores. No quarterback has been this accurate since Kurt Warner’s historic day against Jacksonville in 2009 (when he hit on 24-26 of his passes for a stellar 243 yards and 3 scores). Actually the only Smith incompletion on the night was a Delanie Walker drop, but I digress. Circling back to the game, I saw a lot of good things on both sides of the ball for San Fran. Their defense held Arizona to only 69 yards of offense in the first half, while they tallied up 212 yards.
Michael Crabtree made Patrick Peterson look bad in this game. On his first TD reception, he plucked a perfect Smith pass right over the top of Peterson’s helmet. On his second TD catch and run, he spun the second year corner around and sprinted right into the end zone. He also blew a coverage that allowed Delanie Walker to eat up 23 yards. Before you start thinking that I am picking on Peterson, I feel inclined to mention that I am simply pointing out one of the poor performances that the Cardinals turned in. It is easiest to see in a star player like Patrick. The Arizona offensive line also played very poorly, but at this point that is almost to be expected. They blocked well enough for only 7 yards rushing, and surrendered four sacks. Skelton did miss Fitzgerald running deep in the end zone late. All and all, this was just a very poor performance turned in by Arizona.
As was pointed out on the telecast, this is the fourth game in five played that the 49ers have held their opponents without a TD. You can make the argument that those four teams did not have great offenses, but I would tell you it does not matter. It is hard to dominate NFL teams the way the Niners have been doing this year. After their crushing defeat to the Giants, and Alex Smith’s poor play over the past two games, fans of this team may have been a little worried, but Smith redeemed himself tonight. The Cardinals will head to Green Bay this weekend as the 49ers enjoy a BYE week next week. So the impressive win for San Francisco unearths many more problems for the Cardinals.