Arizona Cardinals Destroyed by San Francisco 49ers

The odds were definitely against the Arizona Cardinals in their lopsided 23-7 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday at Candlestick Park.

The hometown team was in enemy territory, playing in the rain, and were facing the current NFC West leaders (and one of the top 10 defenses in the NFL) with a second-string quarterback who kept tossing interceptions.

As a result, San Francisco roasted the Red Birds and ate them alive, controlling the game from start to finish. They dominated on offense and led the game in time of possession and numerous scoring stats, in addition to waylaying the Cardinals offense and forced five turnovers.  

Arizona QB John Skelton only lasted three quarters due to his piss-poor play as he went six-for-19 for a whopping total of 99 yards. It wasn't the only terrible stat, as the Cards only had the ball for a mere 15 minutes and 44 seconds and only ran 48 plays. Conversely, the 49ers ran 87 plays, hence the huge scoring deficit. 

Arizona's head coach Ken Whisenhunt probably summed it up best when he told reporters after the game that "John played like a rookie today. He's a young football player, and he's going to have his ups and downs."

It seemed like it was more downs than up, which is by he was yanked in the fourth quarter for Richard Bartel. Another major problem was that the Cardinals couldn't sustain a drive due to the fact they were a paltry 1-9 on third down conversions. When teams don't convert first downs and put themselves into third and long situations consistently, nothing ever good comes from it. And nothing truly did come of it for Arizona.

Defense-wise, nary a single Cardinals player was capable of sacking 49ers QB Alex Smith yesterday. Smith had all day to deliver throws from the pocket and he was able to find receivers. 

Other bad news from the game included the injury of defensive tackle Dan Williams, who fractured his left arm after being impacted by the helmet of teammate Stew Bradley while both players attempted to tackle San Francisco's Anthony Dixon. He's expected to miss the rest of the season.

Speaking of injured Cardinals players, here's hoping Kevin Kolb recovers in time for their game next Sunday against the Saint Louis Rams. He's definitely gonna be needed. More info can be found here.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.