That was the tale of two kickers in Arizona's 16-13 upset
victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
Question on the 49ers: Should Pochman (the kicker) start looking for a new job?
If he doesn't start looking for a job, I can assure you there are a few guys in the locker room who want him gone. It's a shame, but the only time you hear about a kicker is if he screws up, and Pochman definitely screwed up. There are other reasons why the 49ers lost this game, but Pochman will be the main recipient of the blame.
Question on the Cardinals: Should they make Shipp a bigger part of their offense (165 rushing yards)?
Yes, the Emmitt Smith project is over. It didn't work for the Cardinals on the field or off. Fans weren't excited about watching Smith and he doesn't make this a better team. At this stage of their careers, Shipp is the better running back.
Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.
Duncan, kicking in place of injured Bill Gramatica, missed three
of five attempts in regulation, including a 50-yarder as the fourth
quarter ended. But his 39-yarder with 10:01 left in overtime gave
Arizona its first victory over the 49ers in 10 years.
"It was great," Duncan said. "I put the team in a bad
situation in the first place, so it was nice to go out there and
kind of make up for it."
Pochman, who nearly lost his job after missing three field goals
last week against Tampa Bay, missed two more Sunday, including a
go-ahead attempt from 35 yards with 2:25 left in regulation.
He added to his troubles by knocking the overtime kickoff out of
bounds to give Arizona (2-5) the ball on its 40.
Pochman wasn't talking. Asked afterward whether the 49ers (3-5)
would have a new kicker for next Sunday against St. Louis, coach
Dennis Erickson said, "I'm sure we've got to sit down and evaluate
that. We've got to look at that."
The Cardinals entered the game as the NFL's worst rushing team,
but Marcel Shipp -- starting because Emmitt Smith is out with a
broken shoulder blade -- carried 35 times, one shy of the franchise
record, for a career-best 165 yards. Arizona averaged 71 yards a
game entering the contest, but got 70 in the first quarter alone.
Jeff Garcia missed three series with a sprained ankle, but
returned to engineer the game-tying fourth-quarter touchdown drive
for San Francisco.
Adrian Wilson had the Cardinals' first blocked punt in six years
to set up Duncan's 20-yard field goal that made it 13-6 in the
Wilson drew two personal fouls and was ejected during San
Francisco's game-tying drive of 73 yards in 11 plays. He was called
for unnecessary roughness for a vicious hit that knocked Jed
Weaver's helmet off on third-and-7 from the Arizona 45. Wilson and
coach Dave McGinnis maintained that it was not a helmet-to-helmet
"I was shocked that they called a personal foul on the first
hit because it was really all shoulder pads," Wilson said. "I'm
not going to take none of my aggression away from what I was doing.
If the play came up next week, I'd do the same thing."
Don't ask Weaver whether it was a good call. He said all he
knows is it was a rough hit.
"I think that's the first time my head hit the ground before
anything else," he said. "I was asking some guys if I had grass
stains on my hair."
The penalty kept the drive alive, and Wilson got another one for
kicking Weaver in the face away from the play. That made it
first-and-goal on the 5.
The drive ended violently when Garcia was met hard by Justin
Lucas at the 1. The ball popped loose, and Kwame Harris grabbed it
and crossed the goal line. This time, Pochman's kick was good and
it was tied at 13 with 7:12 to play.
Garcia, who ran 21 yards for a touchdown on San Francisco's
first possession, was his team's leading rusher with 44 yards on
four carries. Garrison Hearst was held to 43 yards on 14 attempts.
"It's a tough loss," Erickson said. "We've got a bunch of
those, and it's getting a little old."
San Francisco, coming off an impressive 24-7 victory over Tampa
Bay, botched a conversion with a bad snap, leaving holder Bill
LaFleur with the ball. He passed to Weaver, who was tackled well
short of the goal line.
Garcia threw 27 yards to Terrell Owens for an apparent touchdown
on the first play of the second quarter. But Arizona challenged the
play and replays showed Owens did not have both feet in bounds when
he caught the ball.
On the next play, Pochman's 45-yard field goal was wide right.
The former BYU kicker has missed seven field goals in his last four
"We've been through 14 days of being told from every which
angle, every which way, in every language, that we're not very
good," McGinnis said. "This football team doesn't believe that."
Garcia missed the last series of the first half and the first
two in the second.
"Fortunately, it did loosen up and I was able to get back out
on the field and try to contribute or help any way that I could,"
he said. "Tomorrow will be a more telling sign as to how it is."
Owens had six catches for 53 yards and wouldn't talk to
reporters afterward. ... Pochman is San Francisco's eighth kicker
in nine years. ... Arizona's defensive line had two sacks, after
totaling one the first six games.