Posted: 8:00 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013
By Thomas Todd
The 49ers dispatched of the Cardinals in an NFC West slugfest Sunday, grinding out a 32-20 victory. After the teams combined for four highlight-reel touchdowns in the first half, it was San Fran's run-it-up-the-guy style that sealed the game in the second half. Kendall Hunter punched in the clincher midway through the fourth quarter after a dominating drive by Frank Gore.
Gore finished with 25 carries for 101 yards, with 41 on the drive that ended in Hunter's touchdown. But it was Vernon Davis who owned the first half. The 49ers tight end caught 35- and 61-yard scores to help his team to a 22-14 halftime lead. Davis finished with 180 yards on the day.
The Cardinals had some moments -- Larry Fitzgerald's 75-yard touchdown catch for one -- but just couldn't stay out of their own way. Arizona turned the ball over four times, committed six penalties and gave up a second-quarter safety. That's not going to cut it against an opportunistic team like San Francisco.
Vernon Davis delighted fantasy owners with his 180-yard and two-touchdown day. Andre Ellington remained solid for anyone who took a flier on him earlier this season, scoring a touchdown and finishing with 80 total yards. Larry Fitzgerald had his best day this season, but neither he nor Davis could propel their quarterbacks into an elite fantasy week. Kaepernick and Palmer were solid options at best.
Both teams suffered injuries on their defensive lines. Calais Campbell was carted off after banging his helmet on a teammate going for a tackle. He left the field giving a thumbs-up. The 49ers lost Ray McDonald, who was already playing through a biceps tear that will require offseason surgery. Fill-in defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey also left the game. With Justin Smith playing through an injury and Aldon Smith in rehab, their front four will be something to look out for going forward.
Despite leading most of the way, the 49ers only managed to cover an 11-point spread on a late field goal by Phil Dawson. Gambling isn't fun kids, no matter what they tell you.
Arizona vs. Seattle, Oct. 17, 8:25 p.m. ET
San Francisco at Tennessee, Oct. 20, 4:05 p.m. ET