Cardinals vs. 49ers: Live Grades and Analysis for San Francisco

Phil G@FuturePhilGCorrespondent IOctober 13, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 13:  Colin Kaepernick #7 congratulates Vernon Davis #85 of the San Francisco 49ers after he scored a touchdown at Candlestick Park on October 13, 2013 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers defeat the Arizona Cardinals, 32-20. On the strength of Vernon Davis and Frank Gore, the 49ers climb two games above .500.

Check below for final grades and analysis.



Arizona Cardinals: 20

San Francisco 49ers: 32


Game Analysis for the San Francisco 49ers

Pass Offense: Colin Kaepernick wasn’t sensational this afternoon, but improvement was made in the win. After not cracking 200 passing yards since Week 1, Kaepernick finished 16-of-29 for 252 passing yards and two touchdowns.

Run Offense: After a mediocre first half, Frank Gore and this 49ers rushing attack was far more successful in the second half. Against this stout Cardinals front, Gore and company finished with over 150 rushing yards.

Pass Defense: Overall, the 49ers secondary was solid, but we can’t forget some of the big plays they gave up in the air. Larry Fitzgerald was active in the first half, but the 49ers made some adjustments in the second half to slow down the Pro Bowl receiver.

Run Defense: The Cardinals rushing attack showed up in a big way in the third quarter. After a subpar first half, the Cardinals controlled the clock and the time of possession with some superb running by Andre Ellington. The 49ers struggled without the presence of nose tackle Glenn Dorsey.

Special Teams: Return ace Patrick Peterson averaged only nine yards on punt returns. Excellent effort by this 49ers coverage unit. In addition, punter Andy Lee buried two balls inside the Cardinals 20-yard line.

Coaching: It was a gutsy decision for Jim Harbaugh to go for it on a fourth down, but that successful play ended in a Kendall Hunter touchdown. After a shaky first half, the 49ers offense in the second half rightfully revolved around Frank Gore and this ground attack.


SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 13:  Frank Gore #21 of the San Francisco 49ers runs with the ball against the Arizona Cardinals at Candlestick Park on October 13, 2013 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images


First-Half Analysis for the San Francisco 49ers

Pass Offense: The 49ers passing offense stuttered out the gate, but fell into a comfortable rhythm late in the half. Vernon Davis is having a first half to remember. Davis has 171 of Colin Kaepernick’s 191 passing yards. Anquan Boldin was a non-factor in the first half.

Run Offense: Frank Gore carried the ball 10 times in the first half, but only produced 20 yards on the ground. Their first-half struggles are combination of the shaky offensive line play, and the coaching staff’s focus on the aerial attack.

Pass Defense: Carson Palmer’s struggles continue, as 49ers rookie defensive back Eric Reid nearly took an errant pass for six in the first quarter. The 49ers secondary flourished in the first quarter, but seemed to break down in the second. Palmer has looked average thus far, but continues to hit the 49ers with big pass chunks.

Run Defense: As expected, the Cardinals have done nothing on the ground thus far in the first half. Rashard Mendenhall and Andre Ellington combined for 45 rushing yards on 10 attempts. However, Ellington did score on a nice 15-yard run.

Special Teams: Besides Patrick Peterson’s solid 18-yard punt return in the first quarter, the 49ers coverage unit has looked great in the first half. 49ers kicker Phil Dawson was solid, making both of his field goal attempts. Punter Andy Lee was fantastic, as well.

Coaching: Jim Harbaugh and OC Greg Roman called a weird first half. The lack of a running game has forced Kaepernick to make unneeded turnovers. The running game must improve in the second half.