28 Dec 49ers Clip the Cardinals, Stun In Arizona
On Saturday, the San Francisco 49ers beat the Arizona Cardinals 20-12, playing spoiler against a team that was looking to make the playoffs.
In a season that has ravaged the 49ers with numerous amounts of injuries, they continue to find a way to play tough, on both sides of the ball.
Leading the way for the offense was Jeff Wilson Jr., who finished with 22 carries for 183 rushing yards. He also had 1 reception for 21 yards and a TD. Finishing with over 200 scrimmage yards, Wilson shattered his previous career high rushing game record of 112 yards, which he set against the New England Patriots earlier in the season.
The return of star tight end George Kittle opened the door for the run game to succeed, as the 49ers ran for a total of 227 yards, their most since they beat… you guessed it, the Patriots, when they ran for 197 yards total. After Kittle’s injury, the team had only been averaging 93 rushing yards per game.
Aside from the ground game, third string QB CJ Beathard performed admirably, in the wake of the one-year anniversary of the death of his brother Clay.
Beathard threw for 182 yards and 3 touchdowns on 13 completions, finishing with a passer rating of 125.4.
As for the defense, Robert Saleh and the unit were able to stymy Kyler Murray, holding him to 230 passing yards, while the entire group averaged a meager 4.4 yards per play.
The big story of the defense’s success, was the ability to shut down all-pro wide receiver Deandre Hopkins, who finished with a paltry 8 catches for 48 yards, his third lowest yardage total of the season.
Both Jason Verrett and Ahkello Witherspoon played well in the secondary, allowing 12 catches on 18 targets for 91 yards. Witherspoon also had a key interception that helped seal the victory for the Red & Gold.
Overall, it has been a disappointing season for the 49ers. However, the team has never quit. Even amidst the slew of injuries the team has suffered, they continually play their butts off week in and week out.
Credit where credit is due, Kyle Shanahan and Robert Saleh have built a winning culture. The energy they bring on and off the field is reflected by the players’ emotions on the field. This team doesn’t care about winning or losing (although winning is nice), they care about giving it their all and playing hard/
With one more week left of the regular season, the 49ers will look to close out strong and attempt to play spoiler against the Seattle Seahawks. This divisional clash is scheduled for Sunday, January 3rd, 2021 (Happy New Years!) at 1:25 p.m.