NFL Nation: 2013 Week 6 ARI at SFO Rapid Reaction

Rapid Reaction: San Francisco 49ers

October, 13, 2013
10/13/13
7:56
PM ET

SAN FRANCISCO -- A few thoughts on the San Francisco 49ers' 32-20 win over Arizona Cardinals on Sunday:

What it means: The 49ers have won three straight games. Their point total Sunday was their lowest in the win streak. San Francisco is now 4-2 with the easier part of its schedule upcoming. The 49ers were not perfect, but they made big plays on offense and forced four turnovers. San Francisco has forced double-digit turnovers during the win streak. All seems to be going well for the 49ers after they stumbled in Weeks 2 and 3.

Stock watch: San Francisco tight end Vernon Davis had a huge game. He had 180 yards receiving, which is the tied for the third highest total by a tight end in the NFL in the past 20 years. The 49ers don't have a lot of receiving weapons, but Davis got open and quarterback Colin Kaepernick got the ball to him. The 49ers' run offense also came up big on an epic 18-play, 83-yard drive made the score 29-20 with 6:35 to go. Most of the yardage was gained on the ground. The stock is rising for the 49ers' rookies. First-round pick Eric Reid had an interception and a fumble recovery. Third-round pick Corey Lemonier had a sack for a safety and a forced fumble.

Injuries on defense continue: Nose tackle Glenn Dorsey went out early with a hamstring injury. Dorsey was playing well this season. He was jogging on the sideline, so perhaps the injury will not be serious. The 49ers can't afford another extended injury on defense, especially the line. Dorsey was taking over for Ian Williams, who went out for the season with a leg injury in Week 2. Ray McDonald is playing through a biceps injury. Dorsey's replacement, Tony Jerod-Eddie was banged up late in the game. If Dorsey's injury lingers, the 49ers may be forced to push rookie Quinton Dial to the field. He is eligible to practice this week after starting the season on the PUP.

What's next: The 49ers travel to Tennessee to play the Titans, which lost to Seattle on Sunday. After playing in Nashville, the 49ers head to London for a week to prepare for the Jaguars to finish their AFC South slate. Yes, two winnable road games are on the horizon for the 49ers.

Rapid Reaction: Arizona Cardinals

October, 13, 2013
10/13/13
7:56
PM ET
SAN FRANCISCO -- A few thoughts on the Cardinals’ 32-20 loss to the 49ers.

What it means: The Arizona Cardinals showed Sunday they aren’t a pushover in the NFC West. Even though the offense started out looking pitiful with turnovers , the defense carried the Cardinals while making the San Francisco 49ers look human. By playing the Niners tough until about seven minutes left, the Cardinals put the Seattle Seahawks on notice, essentially telling them that no matter the venue, their defense will come to play. Although the offense continued to have its issues, especially in the first quarter and a half, it showed what coach Bruce Arians’ offense could accomplish, when tweaked.

Stock Watch: Rookie running back Andre Ellington has been establishing himself all season, but he showed what he could do when being entrusted during crucial situations. Ellington provided a burst, the proverbial lightning to veteran Rashard Mendenhall’s thunder. He scored his first career rushing touchdown on a 15-yard run in the second quarter in which he cut out wide to the right and turned on the jets to hit the end zone.

Two Palmers: Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer may very well have turned a corner. He started horrendously Sunday, throwing two interceptions in the first nine minutes of the game, and then was sacked early in the second quarter for a safety, although that wasn’t totally Palmer’s fault. But then something happened. With backup Drew Stanton looking like he was preparing to get his first snaps since 2010, Palmer executed a nearly perfect three-play drive that pulled the Cardinals within 15-14 late in the first half. Palmer’s resurgence continued in the second half, when he threw a touchdown to Michael Floyd off his back foot, a play that has been intercepted in the past.

Drive killers: It’s not just interceptions that hampered the Cardinals on Sunday. Two fumbles derailed drives when Arizona needed them most. In the third, Larry Fitzgerald's fumble at San Francisco's 23-yard line ended a drive that could've given the Cardinals the lead. And then in the fourth quarter, Alfonso Smith fumbled his only carry of the game, ending a drive that would’ve helped cut into the Niners’ lead. To compete in the NFC West, of all divisions, the Cardinals need to keep their hands on the ball.

What's next: The Cardinals face their second straight NFC West foe in a week when they host Seattle at 5:25 p.m. MT Thursday at University of Phoenix Stadium.

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