First-half thoughts as 49ers lead Cards, 17-0
October, 29, 2012
By Mike Sando | ESPN.com
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A few thoughts from University of Phoenix Stadium after watching the San Francisco 49ers take a 17-0 halftime lead against the Arizona Cardinals:
- In training camp, the Cardinals pointed to Patrick Peterson as a player destined for greatness. This half was a setback in that journey. The 49ers' Michael Crabtree has beaten Peterson for two touchdowns. He also eluded Peterson during a 22-yard gain to set up David Akers' 43-yard field goal. Crabtree was directly responsible for all 17 first-half points, in other words. And Peterson was the victim each time.
- Life for Peterson and the Cardinals' secondary would be easier if the 49ers weren't dominating up front. San Francisco has run the ball almost at will. The pass protection has been good as well. Alex Smith held the ball too long when he took sacks.
- Smith is otherwise playing well and getting some breaks, too. He has completed 14 of 15 passes for 146 yards and two scores. I thought Cardinals safety Kerry Rhodes was going to intercept Smith on one play, but linebacker Daryl Washington tipped the pass. Niners tight end Delanie Walker caught the ball on the carom. Excellent play by Washington. Excellent play by Walker. Fortunate for Smith.
- Cardinals quarterback John Skelton hasn't had time to get comfortable. His accuracy, already questionable, has suffered further as a result. He missed Larry Fitzgerald high on one third-down play.
- Fitzgerald went face first into the grass and was clearly shaken up. Medical personnel checked him out on the sideline. Fitzgerald returned. No word on the nature of his injury.
- The 49ers' time of possession advantage is 19:24 to 10:36.