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The Cardinals forgot how to tackle Monday night, leading to this Randy Moss 47-yard TD pass from Alex Smith.
Final Grade: D
Alex Smith completed 18-of-19 for 232 yards and three touchdowns for a 157.1 QB rating. Anyone who expected that was expecting a miracle.
The only pass that fell incomplete was a drop by tight end Delanie Walker.
Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter were held in check for the most part, but the Cardinals secondary was made to look rudimentary Monday night. The fact that no one on the team knows how to tackle properly certainly did not help the matter.
If there were less than 10 missed tackles from the Arizona defense, I will be shocked. It was the worst tackling performance I have ever seen from an NFL franchise—and on the biggest stage.
Ray Horton’s crew failed miserably on Monday Night Football; but what is new? Failed performances are what Cardinals fans are used to during primetime football games.
There is work to be done, and with a trip to Lambeau Field to face Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers looming this week, there is not much time to fix the issues.
Lost amid this putrid defensive performance is the fact that inside linebacker Daryl Washington recorded two more sacks and now has eight on the season—by far the most of any player at his position.
Not lost amid this despicable defensive performance is the fact that cornerback Patrick Peterson was made into a fool by multiple 49ers receivers tonight. He was directly responsible for giving up both Smith-to-Michael Crabtree touchdowns in the first half and looked a step slow all game.
Fourth Quarter: B
When the game was already decided, the defense decided to step up and make plays. Tackling improved, but the damage had already been done.
Third Quarter: F
Missed tackles. Once again, missed tackles bite the Cardinals in the backside. Patrick Peterson. William Gay. Kerry Rhodes. Jamell Fleming.
This defense is embarrassing itself on national television.
Second Quarter: C
Daryl Washington is playing lights out once again, recording his seventh sack of the season—that leads all inside linebackers. The run game is not gaining yards in huge chunks as it was in the first quarter, but the passing game is now heating up. Smith is incredibly efficient, having all day to throw the ball.
He has completed 14-of-15 for 146 yards and two touchdowns—both touchdowns being given up by Patrick Peterson. Peterson is playing terrible football tonight.
First Quarter: C-
The Cardinals started on defense, and at first, it appeared San Francisco was on their way to a long, easy scoring drive. But a penalty backed them up, and the scheme of Ray Horton took over. They crossed midfield for one play but were pushed backward on the three consecutive plays that followed.
They are gaining big chunks of yards on the ground, however.
Alex Smith was perfect in the quarter, completing 6-of-6 for 50 yards, including a three-yard strike to receiver Michael Crabtree over Patrick Peterson, who failed to look back at the ball, making it easy for Crabtree.