Beathard, 49ers can’t solve Ari­zona’s de­fense

Packer Plus - - News - Josh Dubow AP pro foot­ball writer

Santa Clara, Calif. — Josh Rosen hit San Fran­cisco with a deep strike on his first snap and let Ari­zona’s op­por­tunis­tic de­fense take over from there.

That for­mula added up to the lon­gawaited first win of the sea­son for the Car­di­nals.

Rosen threw a 75-yard touch­down pass to fel­low rookie Chris­tian Kirk on Ari­zona’s first play from scrim­mage and the Car­di­nals used five take­aways to give first-year coach Steve Wilks his first ca­reer win, 28-18 over the 49ers on Sun­day.

“There’s no such thing as an ugly win in the Na­tional Foot­ball League, par­tic­u­larly when it’s your first one,” Wilks said.

If any qual­i­fied, this might be it. The Car­di­nals (1-4) av­er­aged just 3 yards per play af­ter the open­ing snap, with their only other scores com­ing on Josh Bynes’ fum­ble re­turn for a TD and David John­son TD runs on two short drives af­ter turnovers by the 49ers (1-4).

The Nin­ers had the de­cided edge in yardage (447-220), first downs (33-10) and of­fen­sive plays (92-49), but Ari­zona’s de­fense de­liv­ered in key mo­ments with two in­ter­cep­tions and three fum­ble re­cov­er­ies.

Nin­ers backup quar­ter­back C.J. Beathard com­pleted all five passes on the open­ing drive – four of which were be­hind the line – and gave San Fran­cisco a 6-0 lead on a 5-yard shovel pass to Matt Breida. The Nin­ers botched the ex­tra point and were trail­ing for good 10 sec­onds later on a day when the of­fense strug­gled to fin­ish.

“You look at a lot of those (stats), it’s hard to find how you lost a game,” coach Kyle Shana­han said. “Then it’s very easy when you look at the turnover col­umn. I haven’t been part of any game, I don’t think many peo­ple have, where five turnovers to zero leads to a win. We have to im­prove that dras­ti­cally to have a chance.”

Rosen dropped back and launched a deep throw to Kirk, who was wide open down the mid­dle of the field be­cause free safety Adrian Col­bert jumped up to try to take away Larry Fitzger­ald on the play.

It was the per­fect start for a team that scored just 37 points the first four games.

“We were just try­ing to get a spark in any way pos­si­ble and just try to get our of­fense go­ing,” Rosen said. “We haven’t been scor­ing as many points as we wanted to. I think we took a re­ally good first step.”

Pa­trick Peter­son re­cov­ered a fum­ble by Ra­heem Mostert and re­turned it 49 yards to the San Fran­cisco 18, set­ting up John­son’s 2-yard run that made it 14-6.

The Nin­ers fi­nally scored again on a fourth-and-1 pass from Beathard to Trent Tay­lor with 6:51 to play. But San Fran­cisco couldn’t con­vert the 2-point try and fell to 1-12 over the past two sea­sons with­out Jimmy Garop­polo as start­ing quar­ter­back.

The Car­di­nals sealed the game when Haa­son Red­dick knocked the ball out of Beathard’s hand and Bynes re­turned it for a 23-yard score that gave Ari­zona its sev­enth straight win in the series.

Rosen got the win in his sec­ond start of the sea­son de­spite com­plet­ing just 10 of 25 passes for 170 yards. The one big play proved to be enough to beat the Nin­ers.

“It’s frus­trat­ing,” cor­ner­back Richard Sherman said. “Ob­vi­ously the first play of the game on de­fense, we give up a big play. We just have to be bet­ter than that. It was a sim­ple play, it was easy to get stopped and we just didn’t ex­e­cute it like we needed to. So, that’s where you need to be­cause af­ter that they didn’t have much.” Chan­dler’s day: Ari­zona de­fen­sive end Chan­dler Jones had a dom­i­nant day. He had a strip sack and fum­ble re­cov­ery against Beathard in the third quar­ter, and then bat­ted away the 2point con­ver­sion pass to Pierre Gar­con with 6:51 to play to pre­serve a 14-12 lead.

Bro­ken streak: Rob­bie Gould had made a fran­chise-record 33 straight field goals for the 49ers be­fore miss­ing wide right from 45 yards in the fourth quar­ter. The 49ers also botched an ex­tra point in the first quar­ter when Gould didn’t even get an at­tempt.

In­juries: 49ers: Breida left in the first quar­ter with an in­jured right an­kle and didn’t re­turn. Breida en­tered the week fourth in the league in rush­ing with 313 yards and had eight car­ries for 56 yards, along with his TD catch be­fore the in­jury. … C We­ston Rich­burg left in the sec­ond half with a knee in­jury. Car­di­nals: OL An­dre Smith left in the sec­ond half with a ham­string in­jury.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Car­di­nals line­backer Josh Bynes sacks 49ers quar­ter­back C.J. Beathard on Sun­day.

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