49ers’ defense gets third straight second-half shutout in win over Cardinals

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - NOVEMBER 21: Drake Jackson #95 of the San Francisco 49ers pressures Trace McSorley #19 of the Arizona Cardinals during the fourth quarter at Estadio Azteca on November 21, 2022 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

With the Arizona Cardinals moving the ball well in the first half Monday  night, it looked as if it was finally going to be time for the 49ers’ offense to bail out their defense.

Then came the second half, which means it was time for the 49ers’ defense to assume its rightful place atop the NFL food chain.

If the people weren’t aware on a national scale that the 49ers are something special defensively, they made themselves internationally known in a 38-10 win over the Arizona Cardinals.

When Samuel Womack III intercepted a Trace McSorley pass in the end zone with 2:07 to play, it assured the 49ers their third consecutive shutout over the final two quarters dating back to their unsightly but probably beneficial blowout 44-23 blowout at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs.

The 49ers trailed the Los Angeles Rams 14-10 at halftime on Oct. 30 and won 31-14. They were down 16-10 to the Los Angeles Chargers coming off a bye and won 22-16. At Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, the 49ers led the Cardinals 17-10 at halftime and won 38-10.

That’s a 54-0 margin the second half of those three games, with the 49ers’ defensive responsible for the big goose egg.

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was impressed, taking note even as he was studying up for the next offensive possession.

“I don’t get to enjoy all of it but you can feel it from the sideline,” Garoppolo told ESPN. “They’re hitting, they’re making plays and they’re having fun out there. That’s what it’s all about.”

The 49ers are 6-4 and basically in first place in the NFC West given their 4-0 record in the division including a decisive Week 2 win over Seattle, also 6-4, in Week 2. Their defense essentially put two playoff teams, the Rams and Cardinals, out of their misery for the 2022 season.

Make no mistake. While the 49ers had its coming out party in terms of properly utilizing their weapons, the unit run by defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryan has been doing that all season with the exception of two games.

Had the 49ers offense been anywhere near as good as the defense in the early going, the 49ers would have no more than two losses, considering they were seriously undermanned in terms of injured defensive starters in their road loss in Atlanta.

In the first half, quarterback Colt McCoy passed for 160 yards and the Cardinals had some success getting the ball out quick, usually to DeAndre Hopkins. McCoy, starting for Kyler Murray (hamstring strain), didn’t make it to the finish. Arizona had 159 yards in the second half and no points.

That came after giving up all of 52 yards in the second half to the Chargers and 115 yards in the second half to the Rams.

In a three-game homestand to come, only Miami on Dec. 4 looks capable of pushing the 49ers. They next get New Orleans on a short week with Andy Dalton. Tampa Bay, which comes after the Dolphins game, has struggled on offense all season without enough playmakers …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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