Arizona Cardinals Lose to 49ers; Cards Need to Figure Out the Tight End Thing

The Arizona Cardinals have a problem figuring out the tight end thing, as evidenced in the Cards' 20-32 to the San Francisco 49ers yesterday.

49ers tight end Vernon Davis caught eight passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns. Gee, who would've thought a team would try to throw to the tight end against the Cardinals?

Here's how the other tight ends has done against the Cardinals this year:

  • Greg Olsen (Carolina): Five catches, 79 yards
  • Timothy Wright (Tampa): Five catches, 41 yards
  • Jimmy Graham (New Orleans): Nine catches, 134 yards, two touchdowns, Cardinals loss
  • Brandon Pettigrew (Detroit): Three catches, 32 yards
  • Jared Cook (St. Louis): Seven catches 141 yards, two touchdowns, Cardinals loss

Anyone ever think about some sort of plan to cover Vernon Davis? Nahhh.

Davis had seven of those catches, for 171 yards and both of his touchdowns, in the first half.

Despite this, the Cardinals were still in the game in the second half, as a Carson Palmer pass to Michael Floyd was caught for a touchdown, making it a 22-20 game.

The 49ers punted on their next possession, and the Cardinals started driving from their own 20-yard line. On a second-and-10 from the 49ers' 31-yard line, Palmer threw to Larry Fitzgerald, who caught it, then fumbled.

With that fumble, the 49ers started an 18-play, 83 yard, 9 1/2 minute touchdown drive that pissed away a good portion of the second half, and put the Cardinals down by nine, with less than seven minutes remaining.

How would the Cardinals respond? For some reason, running back Alfonso Smith's number was called at this point, for the first time of the day. On his only carry of the day, Smith fumbled.

Carson Palmer, who was fairly inconsistent throwing all day (25-for-41, with two TDs and two interceptions) couldn't bring 'em back.

Palmer wasn't that bad (he wasn't John Skelton/Derek Anderson/Max Hall/Ryan Lindley bad). And if it's any consolation, a guy named Kurt Warner lost both games to the 49ers in 2009, the year after the Super Bowl year.

The Cardinals now only have a few days to figure out how to not give up a billion yards and touchdowns to Seattle Seahawks tight ends Zach Miller and Luke Willson, since the two teams are playing on Thursday night this week.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley