49ers win the West with a 45-29 win versus the Cardinals. 5 takeaways from #SFvsAZ

49ers win the West with a 45-29 win versus the Cardinals.  5 takeaways from #SFvsAZ

WR Deebo Samuel extends his touchdown streak

The wideout has now scored in four straight games starting with the 49ers’ Thanksgiving night game in Week 12. After allowing the opening touchdown to Arizona, the 49ers quickly responded with a score of their own. Quarterback Brock Purdy went to Samuel, who was moving and left wide open on the left sideline, for a 12-yard touchdown reception. The score was tied at 7-7 with 6:33 remaining in the first quarter. The wide receiver went on to secure the second touchdown during the fourth quarter.

CB Charvarius Ward made his first career home run in Arizona

The veteran linebacker came away with his first career pick, intercepting Kyler Murray’s pass attempt on fourth-and-3 in the first quarter of Sunday’s game. Murray targeted Cardinals tight end Trey McBride and Ward picked off his throw and took it all the way to the interception 66 yards for a touchdown. The pick-six is ​​San Francisco’s first defensive touchdown of the 2023 season and its first pick-six since Week 5 of the 2022 season. The interception return touchdown put the 49ers up 14-7 with 4:22 remaining in the first frame. Ward had a second interception late in the fourth quarter.

“I had a big smile on my face probably the whole first half after the touchdown,” Ward said. “I feel like I made a great play. (I’d like to) thank God first and foremost — two picks, this is the first time that’s happened in my career, even in high school, college and junior college. I’m definitely happy and grateful for it.”

The defensive front is piling up sacks again

The 49ers’ defensive front lost two key interior defensive linemen in Arik Armstead and Javon Hargrave and still had a devastating outing in Week 15. The high level of production has continued over the past five games, totaling 22 sacks, with the defensive front adding another three in Week 15.

Defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw, who was making his second season start, got things started by knocking down Murray for a seven-yard loss on the Cardinals’ second offensive series. The sack came on first-and-15 and backed up Arizona to their own 48-yard line. The Cardinals were unable to convert and had to settle for a 58-yard field goal.

It was a similar story with defensive lineman Nick Bosa and his sack in the second quarter. On Arizona’s next offensive possession, Bosa came home on Murray for a loss of four yards and forced a fumble, however, the Cardinals recovered the loose ball and ended up losing just one yard on the ground. Arizona executed another passing play and, after failing to convert, kicked a 43-yard field goal to get within a score with 6:44 remaining in the first half. With this sack, Bosa increases his season total to 10.5 sacks. The 49ers’ third sack of the day came in the third quarter, split by Chase Young and Fred Warner, for a loss of a yard.

Second quarter swap

Quarterback Brock Purdy took a hard hit during San Francisco’s third offensive series on a nine-yard catch to linebacker Kyle Goscheck. The hit attracted a 15-yard passer call, and after taking the field, Purdy walked out to the game to be evaluated in the medical tent. Sam Darnold entered the game for three plays before Purdy was cleared to return to the game. The second-year quarterback’s official injury update indicated he suffered a bite on his left shoulder. He went on to complete the series for the 49ers and capped off a 10-play, 75-yard drive with a five-yard touchdown pass to running back Christian McCaffrey. Purdy racked up 16 of 25 pass attempts, 242 yards and four touchdowns in his NFL debut in his hometown.

“I had never been hit by a needle before, so when I got hit, I probably would have showed up if someone had grabbed my arm and pulled me,” Purdy said. “It was on my left side. I just laid there for a second, kind of, letting me calm down and stuff, and I was able to get up and go to the tent. And from there it got better. Literally over time, things started to clear up, and that’s why I was able to get back to There in the middle of the road.”

Day of three landings for CMC

After failing to reach the end zone in Week 14, the 49ers’ RB1 scored two touchdowns, a reception and a rushing touchdown against the Cardinals. McCaffrey got things started with a five-yard touchdown reception late in the second quarter and also provided an offensive boost on the opening drive of the third quarter. After a 35-yard reception to tight end George Kittle, Purdy played outside the pocket, hitting a wide-open McCaffrey near the left sideline. The running back executed a 41-yard catch and run, fumbling at the 10-yard line before running the rock into the end zone.

“I didn’t see the ball until halfway through the air, and I was happy we connected,” McCaffrey said. “Brock made a great play scrambling and sticking with it.”

He scored again late in the third quarter, running in a 1-yard touchdown to give San Francisco a 35-16 advantage. With his third touchdown, McCaffrey tied Miami Dolphins running back Raheem Mostert for the league lead in touchdowns.

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