The 49ers defeated the Arizona Cardinals 32-20 on Sunday afternoon. With this victory, the 49ers are alone in second place of the NFC West division and trail the Seahawks by one game with a 4-2 record.
Vernon Davis had a career high 171 receiving yards to go with two touchdown in the first half alone. He finished the game with 180 receiving yards as he had only one reception in the second half. Davis caught a 61-yard touchdown pass on a crossing pattern to the left and a 35-yard touchdown on a streak route to the right. These were the only touchdowns by the 49ers in the first half where the score was 22-14.
“It's one of those things where you're in the zone, on a high and you can't come down,” Davis said of his performance. “It's a beautiful thing and [Colin Kaepernick] was able to find me several times. We started to click and are on the same page.”
The Cardinals entered the second half by making the 49ers offense go three and out. They were able to score a touchdown on a 10-yard pass to Michael Floyd, but failed the two-point conversion where the score would be 22-20.
They would enter the red zone again, but the turning point happened when Larry Fitzgerald was stripped by Patrick Willis and Eric Reid fell on the loose ball. The 49ers would take 18 plays to go 89 yards for a touchdown drive that took 9:32 off the clock.
Colin Kaepernick helped convert three third downs with passes to Kyle Williams and Anquan Boldin. On fourth down and short, the 49ers gave the ball to Bruce Miller which was good for two yards and kept the drive alive. Kendall Hunter would finish the drive with a 6-yard touchdown untouched while up the middle.
That touchdown drive put the game away for good as Frank Gore was responsible for 41 yards on the ground. Harbaugh said the team successfully fought off a tough win from that possession.
“It was a huge win,” Harbaugh said. “We grinded some meat and the game could've gone different ways. Our players toughed it out when they had to. That was an example of how important third down conversions are, including a great catch by Kyle Williams.”
The 49ers started the game with two turnovers which put the offense in the red zone in the first quarter. Eric Reid and Carlos Rogers intercepted the ball, but both drives stalled and the 49ers had to settle for two field goals by Phil Dawson to make it 6-0. The 49ers had as many points as yards after the second field goal.
Arizona responded with a 75-yard catch and run touchdown to Larry Fitzgerald to put the Cardinals ahead. Donte Whitner and Tramaine Brock attempted to go for the big hit, but missed which led to a wide open field for Fitzgerald to run.
Colin Kaepernick threw an interception on the goal line, but the 49ers defense made a play to give them the lead. Corey Lemonier sacked Carson Palmer on third down in the end zone which was his first career sack. That safety put the 49ers up 8-7.
The biggest victory for the 49ers was the second half of running the ball. Frank Gore finished the game with 102 rushing yards with the blocks and holes coming in the 18 play possession.
“It was a hard fought game,” Jonathan Goodwin said. “We were able to open some holes up in the end and gain yardage. In this league at the end of the day, you're put in situations where you need to run the ball. Hopefully we can do it more times.”
The 49ers will travel to Nashville to play the Tennessee Titans in Week 7.
-Glenn Dorsey went down in the game with a right hamstring injury. It's unclear how serious or not the injury is.
-Michael Wilhoite left the game with a forearm and quadriceps injury and his status is unknown.
-The 49ers didn't have a wide receiver with a reception until Anquan Boldin caught a pass with 1:20 remaining in the second quarter.
-The 49ers won three consecutive games in the regular season, which was something they couldn't accomplish last year.
-Dating back to last week, the 49ers have forced eight turnovers, which have led to four field goals and four touchdowns.
-This was Patrick Willis' first game back from a groin injury since Week 3. LaMichael James was the inactive player in his place.