The Arizona Cardinals were feeling pretty good about themselves after needing a blocked field goal to beat the Rams at home and a late touchdown drive to beat Michael Vick's broken ribs. Then they went to San Francisco all fired up to face a division rival, but any thoughts of progress were quickly eliminated.
John Skelton, who at one point was the subject of a quarterback controversy thanks to two "wins" in two starts in place of the injured Kevin Kolb, threw half as many of his completed passes to the other team. He went 6-19 with three horrible interceptions on very poorly thrown balls.
The guy who was recently called "special" for his fourth quarter play didn't make into the fourth quarter before being benched in favor of third-string QB Richard Bartel.
There's very little about this game on the offensive side of the ball that can be considered a positive other then the end to any discussion of Kevin Kolb not getting his job back once he's healthy. We can safely put that discussion to bed.
Defensively, the Cardinals played as well as could be expected. They blocked two field goals, recorded a pick in the red zone and at least in the first half forced the 49ers into three points instead of allowing seven on multiple occasions. But no defense can hold up when the offense can't sustain drives and turns the ball over five times (three Skelton interceptions, Wells fumble, Peterson fumble).
The Cardinals did show some fight in the fourth quarter after Chester Taylor broke off a 34-yard run and Bartel found Larry Fitzgerald for a 23-yard touchdown pass. Or maybe it's more correct to say, Bartel through a ball through the defenders hands and Fitzgerald some how managed to make an incredible catch.
The 49ers finished the game with 432 yards of total offense compared to just 229 for the Cardinals with 154 of that coming on fourth quarter "garbage" time drives. The Cardinals will come home and regroup ahead of their third-straight road game, this time in St. Louis against the Rams.
Things to watch coming out of this game are the status of starting NT Dan Williams who appeared to suffer a significant injury to his arm or elbow and Early Doucet who could receive a suspension for a punch that the officials on the field didn't see but was caught on camera.
For more on this game, visit Revenge of the Birds blog.