The Cardinals had some success offensively against the 49ers on Sunday, but Christian McCaffrey and Brock Purdy proved to be too much for their defense.
McCaffrey scored four touchdowns and Purdy capped a late 14-play drive with a one-yard scoring run that put things out of reach. The 35-16 win moves the 49ers to 4-0 on the season and 9-0 in games started by Purdy in the regular season.
The Cardinals were down 21-3, but scored two straight touchdowns to get back into the game in the third quarter. The second one came at the end of a 99-yard drive that showed quarterback Joshua Dobbs’ growing comfort running the offense in Arizona, but the 49ers answered with McCaffrey’s fourth score early in the fourth quarter. The ensuing Cardinals drive stalled near midfield and Arizona punted the ball away with over nine minutes to play.
The 49ers would run 14 plays and eat more than seven minutes of time off the clock before Purdy’s plunge into the end zone. The touchdown was their fifth on six offensive possessions that included more than kneeldown plays. The inability of Arizona’s defense to get off the field proved to be a big part of the difference on Sunday.
McCaffrey ran 20 times for 106 yards and caught seven passes for 71 yards in the latest dominant performance for a player who led the league in rushing coming into this week. He now has 20 touchdowns in 17 games with the 49ers and he’s scored in his last 13 games.
Purdy was 20-of-21 for 283 yards and he’s now thrown 32 incompletions through the first four weeks of the season. Brandon Aiyuk led the receivers with six catches for 148 yards in his return from a shoulder injury.
Dobbs was 28-of-41 for 265 yards and two touchdowns to wide receiver Michael Wilson. It took the Cardinals some time to get going offensively, though, and that joined with the defense’s struggles as reasons why the 49ers pulled away for the win.
Arizona is now 1-3 and they’ll host the 1-3 Bengals next Sunday. The 49ers will be at home against the Cowboys in a marquee matchup on Sunday Night Football.
49ers running back Christian McCaffrey came into Sunday’s game against the Cardinals with three touchdowns on the season.
McCaffrey’s doubled that total through 30 minutes of play at Levi’s Stadium. McCaffrey ran for two scores and then added a receiving touchdown in the second quarter to help the 49ers get out to a 21-3 lead.
Cardinals quarterback Joshua Dobbs was able to drive the Cardinals 87 yards in five minutes on the ensuing possession to get his team in the end zone for the first time and the Cardinals cut the 49ers’ advantage to 21-10 at halftime. Dobbs is 12-of-20 for 108 yards and a touchdown pass to Michael Wilson, but he’ll need more help from the defense to bring the team any closer.
The 49ers have scored all three times they’ve had the ball and they picked up 205 yards on 22 offensive plays before taking a knee on the final play of the second quarter. McCaffrey has 93 yards from scrimmage, Brock Purdy is 10-of-10 for 145 yards, and Brandon Aiyuk has three catches for 69 yards.
The Cowboys stumbled against the Cardinals last weekend, but the 49ers don’t seem to be in much danger of doing the same.
Running back Christian McCaffrey has capped each of the team’s first two possessions with touchdown runs and the 49ers are out to a 14-0 lead at Levi’s Stadium. McCaffrey has now scored touchdowns in 13 straight games.
McCaffrey’s second score was an 18-yard sprint that was set up by a fourth down conversion on a pass from Brock Purdy to tight end George Kittle. Purdy is 6-of-6 for 72 yards and McCaffrey has 85 yards from scrimmage.
The Cardinals have only mustered 36 yards to this point and it will be a long day for them if they can’t find some holes in the 49ers defense soon.
Word on Sunday morning was that wide receiver Deebo Samuel would be in the 49ers lineup against the Cardinals and the team made it official on Sunday afternoon.
Samuel missed practice this week with rib and knee injuries, but he got the green light to play in the matchup of NFC West teams. The 49ers are also getting Brandon Aiyuk back from a shoulder injury, but will be missing Jauan Jennings in their receiving corps.
Quarterback Brandon Allen, guard Nick Zakelj, defensive tackle Kalia Davis, linebacker Jalen Graham, running back Elijah Mitchell, and cornerback Anthony Brown are also inactive on Sunday.
Tight end Elijah Higgins, running back Keaontay Ingram, defensive lineman Jonathan Ledbetter, offensive lineman Ilm Manning, offensive lineman Carter O’Donnell, cornerback Starling Thomas, and linebacker Josh Woods will not play for the Cardinals.
49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel did not practice at all this week, but it doesn’t look like that will keep him from playing against the Cardinals.
According to multiple reports, Samuel will be active for Sunday’s game at Levi’s Stadium. Samuel had been listed as questionable because of rib and knee injuries.
The 49ers will also be getting Brandon Aiyuk back in the receiving corps. Aiyuk did not play in Week Three because of a shoulder injury, but he had no injury designation on the final injury report of the week.
Jauan Jennings is expected to miss the game with a shin injury. The 49ers elevated Willie Snead from the practice squad to fill out the receiver group.