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Takeaways from Arizona’s 23-14 Win Over the San Francisco 49ers

September 23rd, 2014 at 6:56 AM
By Steve Smith

The Arizona Cardinals secured one of their most impressive victories in recent memory Sunday when they defeated NFC West rival San Francisco, 23-14 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.

Here are some takeaways from that thrilling affair:

1. The Cardinals are a mentally tough team. We all know the stats – going into the game Arizona had lost four straight to San Francisco and nine of 10. Head coach Bruce Arians had said earlier in the week that there was not a rivalry when one team (SF) had won so often.

Well, the Red Birds trailed 14-6 and easily could have gone into a shell thinking, "here we go again." They completely shut down the 49ers in the second half and Drew Stanton and John Brown connected on two touchdown passes. That showed tremendous progress by a group that knows they need to make the playoffs this season, not just get close.

Now there IS a rivalry.

2. Larry Fitzgerald is the third best receiver on the Cardinals.

At least so far anyway.

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Arizona Cardinals Soar to 3-0 with Victory Over San Francisco 49ers

September 22nd, 2014 at 5:02 AM
By Steve Smith

The streak is over.

The Arizona Cardinals broke their four-game losing streak against NFC West rival San Francisco yesterday afternoon with a thrilling 23-14 victory over the 49ers at raucous University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.

The win lifted the Red Birds to 3-0 while the Niners dipped to 1-2. Arizona outscored San Francisco 17-0 in the second half.

“I love the resiliency of our football team,” head coach Bruce Arians told the team's website.

Rookie wide receiver John Brown led the way for the Cards with two touchdown receptions from backup quarterback Drew Stanton – from 24 and 21 yards away, respectively, in the third quarter to give the winners the lead for good.

Stanton was terrific filling in for Carson Palmer (shoulder) for the second straight game. The 30-year-old signal-caller threw for 244 yards and those two scored to Brown and had no interceptions for the second straight week. Stanton had a QB rating of 98.5 and was hit hard quite often during the game by San Francisco's aggressive defense. The Red Birds did not allow any sacks however.

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Arizona’s Carson Palmer Out Vs. 49ers; Drew Stanton to Start at Quarterback

September 21st, 2014 at 5:48 AM
By Steve Smith

To no one's surprise, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (shoulder) will not play against the San Francisco 49ers in Glendale on Sunday.

The veteran signal-caller has been dealing with a nerve issue in his throwing shoulder and was very limited in practice this week. That means backup quarterback Drew Stanton will once again get the nod under center.

Stanton started his first game since 2010 last Sunday against the New York Giants and managed the game well. Although he threw for only 169 yards and no touchdowns, the Michigan State product did not throw any interceptions and showed solid poise in the pocket.

It looks likely that rookie Logan Thomas will be Stanton's backup.

Elsewhere, halfback Andre Ellington (foot) will start and center Lyle Sendlein (ankle) is listed as probable. Linebackers Kevin Minter (quadriceps) and Larry Foote (shoulder) are both listed as probable for Sunday's contest.

Punter Dave Zastudil (groin) and linebacker Alex Okafor (thigh) have been ruled out of the 49ers game.

The Red Birds will look to Jalen Parmele and Stepfan Taylor to aid the rushing attack now that Jonathan Dwyer is inactive.

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Week 3 NFL Preview: San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals

September 20th, 2014 at 6:54 AM
By Steve Smith

The 2-0 Arizona Cardinals face NFC West division foe San Francisco tomorrow afternoon at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale and it's looking more and more likely that starting quarterback Carson Palmer will miss his second game in a row.

Palmer is dealing with a nerve issue in his throwing shoulder so it seems quite likely that Drew Stanton will start under center for the Red Birds.

The 49ers (1-1) may be missing a key player as well. Tight end Vernon Davis (ankle) missed practice all week and is highly doubtful to play on Sunday. Davis is a top red zone target of quarterback Colin Kaepernick and will be missed – he already has two touchdowns this season.

Kaepernick is off to a mediocre start this season – he has three touchdowns and three interceptions – but he now has a healthy Michael Crabtree to throw to. Crabtree has been a thorn in the side to the Cardinals during his career. Expect him to see more targets with Davis on the sideline.

As usual, the Cards must be prepared to combat Kaepernick's superb scrambling ability. He's averaging 5.4 yards per rushing attempt.

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Arizona Cardinals’ Carson Palmer Looking Doubtful for 49ers Game

September 19th, 2014 at 6:51 AM
By Steve Smith

It's not looking very good for Carson Palmer.

The Arizona Cardinals quarterback has thrown very little in practice this week due to the nerve injury in his shoulder. The USC product has not been ruled out yet but it's looking more and more like Drew Stanton will start against San Francisco on Sunday afternoon.

It's hard to be effective when you can't throw the ball with any authority.

Palmer is working hard to come back – he's tried ice, massage and electric stimulation. There has been little progress so far.

"I wish I had a concrete answer or somebody knew exactly what to do to wake it up, but that’s not known,” Palmer told the team's website. “It’s just time. The only answer is time, and I’m hoping it doesn’t take any more time.”

It looks like it will.

Stanton was an effective game manager against the New York Giants last Sunday. Although he only threw for 167 yards, Stanton did not toss any interceptions and seemed to have command in the huddle.

Head coach Bruce Arians seems confident Stanton can do the job against the rugged Niners defense.

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