Arizona vs. San Francisco: Live Grades for Arizona

Andrew Nordmeier@@AndrewNordmeierContributor IIIDecember 29, 2012

Arizona vs. San Francisco: Live Grades for Arizona

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    The Arizona Cardinals' 2012 campaign ended in disappointing fashion as the Cardinals lost 27-13 to San Francisco at Candlestick Park. Arizona finished the season losing 11 of its final 12 games after a 4-0 start. 

    Arizona falls to 5-11 for the season and will finish with a top-10 draft pick. San Francisco (11-4-1) wins the NFC West and gets a home playoff game if they wind up in the Wild Card Round next week. 

    Michael Floyd had a breakout game with eight catches for 166 yards and Arizona's first passing touchdown since week nine. Beanie Wells didn't get a carry in the game and didn't get to set foot on the field. 

    With the NFL version of "Black Monday" right around the corner, Arizona fans have to wonder who just played their last game with the team and if changes in the coaching ranks are going to happen. 

Quarterback Brian Hoyer

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    Cumulative Grade: C

    4th quarter: C+ Hoyer got Arizona its first passing touchdown since week nine. He was able to build a nice rapport with Michael Floyd and utilize him effectively in the passing game. No other receiver had more than three catches or 18 yards for the game. He moved the ball around to six different receivers but was hounded by the San Francisco defense. 

    19-of-34 for 207 net yards with a touchdown and an interception is not bad but not great either. 

    3rd quarter: D Hoyer isn't able to accomplish much of anything. He got sacked twice in a row and nearly had his head taken off on the second one. 9-of-21 for 94 net yards isn't going to get the job done.

    2nd quarter: C- This was another quarter that was just average for Hoyer. The Cardinals still don't have a passing touchdown since Week 9 but they also haven't thrown an interception yet either. 

    1st quarter: C Hoyer is off to a so-so start hitting one of five passes for seven yards. It takes some time to get a feel for the game, especially in your first NFL start so this isn't bad.

Cardinals Offense

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    Cumulative Grade: D In true Cardinals' fashion, Arizona was able to move the ball adequately through the air and did next to nothing on the ground. The Cardinals ran for 55 yards on 17 carries. Floyd had a great game but no other receiver was effective. Beanie Wells didn't get a single carry in the game so his "audition" was essentially "postponed."

    4th quarter: D+ Arizona found the end zone late in the game for the second straight week and this time it was a rare passing touchdown. 

    3rd quarter: F The Cardinals aren't able to move the ball for anything in the third quarter. The San Francisco defense got plenty of good penetration and was able to blow up plays in the backfield. The Cardinals have 147 total yards of offense through three quarters. Most of those yards came in the first quarter. 

    2nd quarter: C- Arizona got another field goal and held a 6-0 lead early in the quarter, The downside is that it was just a field goal and the Cardinals have gone six straight quarters without an offensive touchdown. 

    Powell continues to be the lead rusher with 48 carries on 11 yards in the half with a long of 10 yards. Michael Floyd is leading the air attack with 56 yards on three catches. Larry Fitzgerald has two catches for 13 yards.  

    1st quarter: C- The Arizona offense is moving the ball a little bit and has converted a third down. William Powell had a couple good runs in the early going. Beanie Wells hasn't gotten into the game as of yet.

    With Hoyer only completing one pass, the air attack hasn't gotten off the ground yet either.

Cardinals Defense

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    Cumulative Grade: D The Cards had a good first quarter but couldn't sustain the effort for the full sixty minutes. Michael Crabtree (eight catches, 172 yards and two touchdowns) ran wild on the Cardinals. The 49ers also ran over Arizona for 127 rushing yards and finished with 407 yards for the game of total offense. You won't win when you give up that many yards and Arizona proved that to be true.

    4th quarter: D Arizona's offense spent most of the quarter on the field  so the defense wasn't able to allow any more yardage to the 49er offense that rolled them in the second and third quarter. 

    3rd quarter: F Kapernick and the 49ers have run the Arizona defense ragged in the third quarter. The 49ers have piled up 373 yards of offense...and still have a quarter to go. 

    2nd quarter: D Arizona gave up a touchdown on a two-play 80-yard drive. Michael Crabtree is looking strong against Arizona with four catches for 116 yards and a touchdown. Crabtree hit triple digits in yardage in the quarter. Frank Gore has been held in check by the Cardinals as he's been limited to 20 yards on nine carries so that's a win in that regard. 

    If not for a pair of missed field goals from David Akers, Arizona would be down by a touchdown instead of a single point at half time. 

    1st Quarter: C  Arizona's defense has been able to keep San Francisco at bay. The 49ers had just 10 yards on their first six plays and Colin Kapernick has yet to complete a pass for the 49ers.

Cardinals Special Teams

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    Cumulative Grade: B Six punts and an average north of 50 yards per punt makes this unit a winner. Add to that nearly 22 yards per kickoff return and this was the lone bright spot. 

    4th quarter: C The Cardinals' punting unit continues to excel but spent time on the sidelines with the offense going on a long drive that resulted in a touchdown. 

    3rd quarter: B With the Arizona offense struggling mightily, Zastudil has been the team's saving grace and quite possibly best player on the field in this one. 

    2nd quarter: B Zastudil continues to perform at his usual level, averaging 50.3 yards per punt on his four punts in the half. Jay Feely has hit both of his field goals and LaRod Stephens-Howling had a good 20-yard kickoff return after the Crabtree touchdown. 

    1st Quarter: A  Dave Zastudil boomed a 70-yard punt that got downed at the San Francisco one-yard line. That play has been key in getting Arizona good field position to start their first two drivers near midfield.

Cardinals Coaching

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    Cumulative Grade: D The coaches and the game plan didn't come together very well, save for the last touchdown drive. Arizona looked okay in the first quarter but melted down the rest of the game and gave up 27 straight points. It would have been 33 unanswered points if Akers could have hit his field goals. 

    The question for the coaches now is how many of them might need to refresh their resumes in the morning. 

    4th quarter: C Arizona found a way to put together a long drive that ended in a touchdown. It may have come in garbage time but it showed that the coaches didn't stop doing their jobs until the end. 

    3rd quarter: D The 49ers have totally taken control of the game and neither the offense nor defense have done anything to stop them. San Francisco has put up 24 unanswered points and the coaching staff may have put up the white flag. 

    2nd quarter: C- The offensive coaching staff is putting points on the board, albeit three at a time. The defense had a couple mental lapses in the second quarter which led to the touchdown. We're not seeing many effective plays from the defense to put any real pressure on Kapernick. 

    1st Quarter: C They made the right decision by keeping Beanie Wells on the bench as Powell looks good in the early going.