Late field goal lifts the Arizona Cardinals over the San Francisco 49ers

The Arizona Cardinals improve to 4-4-1 after defeating the San Francisco 49ers 23-20 Sunday at the University of Phoenix Stadium.

Late field goal lifts the Arizona Cardinals over the San Francisco 49ers
Chandler Catanzaro secures a Cardinals victory with his 34-yard field goal |Source: David Kadlubowski/azcentral sports|
San Francisco 49ers
20 23
Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals (4-4-1) defeated the San Francisco 49ers (1-8) 23-20 after Chandler Catanzaro kicked a game-winning 34-yard field goal in the final seconds.

Obviously I am extremely happy with the win. It was a game where I thought we had in hand and we gave it back; and then we weathered the storm and won it.” Arizona head coach Bruce Arians said.

The 49ers have now lost eight games in a row; Colin Kaepernick is winless in his first four starts of the season. 

Big games from Floyd, Fitzgerald and Johnson lead offense

David Johnson dives for the pylon as he scores a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers |Source:Chris Coduto/Getty Images North America |
David Johnson dives for the pylon as he scores a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers |Source:Chris Coduto/Getty Images North America | 

Cardinals receiver Michael Floyd showed that he is still capable of being one of the top receivers in this offense, catching five passes for 101 yards for the day. The emergence of Floyd could be what they offense needs as they prepare to make a playoff run.

Larry Fitzgerald had another big day, hauling in 12 passes for 130 yards. During the game, Fitzgerald caught now has 1,086 receptions for his career, good enough to pass Terrell Owens for sixth all time in the NFL receptions list.

There was a scary moment late in the first half of the game when Fitzgerald caught a pass and was flipped by San Francisco defender Jimmie Ward. Fitzgerald landed awkwardly land on his neck. Fitzgerald returned though in the second half and finished the game.

David Johnson, currently has the longest streak in Cardinals history with nine straight games of 100 yards from scrimmage, had a rough time in the running game today, only rushing for 55 yards. In the passing game, he caught five passes for 46 yards. Johnson’s one rushing and one receiving touchdown gave the Cardinals an early 14-0 lead in the first half.

San Francisco fought hard, but still fell short

Colin Kaepernick scrambles for positive yardage against the Arizona Cardinals. |Source: Norm Hall/Getty Images North America|
Colin Kaepernick scrambles for positive yardage against the Arizona Cardinals. |Source: Norm Hall/Getty Images North America| 

The 49ers defense was successful in shutting down the Cardinals run game, limiting them to just 80 team yards for the game. The defense played even bigger in passing situations with Gerald Hodges coming up with the interception that set up the game tying touchdown. Eric Reid also had an interception. Antoine Bethea and DeForest Buckner each forced a fumble, keeping the 49ers in the game.

Colin Kaepernick had a good game, going 17-30, throwing for 210 yard and had a touchdown. He rushed for 55 yards on 10 carries, with his four-yard run being the game tying touchdown. Wide receiver Jeremy Kerley  continued success against Arizona, catching seven passes for 71 yards and a touchdown.

Cardinal linebacker Chandler Jones sacked Kaepernick two times, with Calais Campbell also recording a sack. For most part, the Cardinals defense had tight coverage on plays downfield, enabling Kaepernick to create a big play.

Another big way that the 49ers hurt themselves was by penalties. They had nine penalties for one hundred yards. Drives that could have stalled the Cardinals momentum gave the Cardinals a second chance, prolonging their drives down the field.

Looking ahead

Calais Campbell will try to make big plays as the Cardinals take on the Minnesota Vikings for the second time in as many seasons. |Source:Norm Hall/Getty Images North America|
Calais Campbell will try to make big plays as the Cardinals take on the Minnesota Vikings for the second time in as many seasons. |Source:Norm Hall/Getty Images North America| 

Next week, the Cardinals travel for a game against the Minnesota Vikings (5-4) for their first game in the newly built U.S. Bank Stadium. After winning their first five games of the season, the Vikings have lost four in a row. The last time these two played, it was a game that came down to the wire, with the Cardinals winning 23-20

For the 49ers, they will return to Levi’s Stadium to take on the New England Patriots. San Francisco’s defense will have a tall order when it comes to stopping Tom Brady and the Patriots high octane offense. As for the 49er offense, they will be going up against one of the best defenses in the AFC.