49ers @ Cardinals: First quarter

This is the live blog for the first quarter of the 49ers Week 8 game in Arizona against the Cardinals. I’ll update this frequently with information and analysis from my living room in Oakland.

5:28 Steve Young just said the 49ers offense needs to show tonight it can be explosive against a good defense.

5:36 The 49ers will receive the opening kickoff.

5:40 Ted Ginn Jr. will receive the kicks this week, not Kyle Williams.

5:40 Ginn returns it to the 49ers’ 25 yard line.

5:45 Smith just called the first timeout of the half for the Niners. Gore has run three times for 23 yards on this drive. He looks great. Greg Roman designed the first pass play to go to Mario Manningham, and he caught it for a 7-yard gain on 2nd and 4. Alex Boone was flagged for a face mask penalty on a first down reception by Kendall Hunter, so the 49ers face 2nd and 14 at their 46 yard line.

5:52 Greg Roman calls a screen pass to Mario Manningham on 2nd and 14 and the Cardinals blow it up for a three yard loss. Bad play call. Vernon Davis was downfield blocking.

5:51 Andy Lee pins Patrick Peterson deep in the Cardinals territory, but C.J. Spillman is flagged for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. The Cardinals will have the ball at their 27 yard line.

5:55 LaRod Stephens-Howling gains 24 yard on the first play. He caught a screen pass which completely caught the 49ers off guard. Then the Cardinals called two Stephens-Howlings runs up the middle. Both went for no gain. John Skelton air mailed a pass over the middle on third and ten and the Cardinals have to punt.

5:57 Greg Roman called two pass plays for Mario Manningham and one for Kendall Hunter on the first Niner drive. Lets see if Roman gets Vernon Davis involved in the second drive.

5:59 On first and 10 from the 23, Gore runs right up the middle for five yards. That’s working.

6:06 On third and goal from the three yard line, Smith throws a fade to Crabtree in the end zone, and he jumps over Patrick Peterson to catch the touchdown. 7-0 Niners. Earlier in the drive, Frank Gore gained 17 yards up the middle on a Bill Walsh fullback belly play. Delanie Walker caught a 23-yard pass thanks to Patrick Peterson blowing a zone coverage. After two drives, the 49ers are averaging 6.3 yards per carry and Vernon Davis has not been targeted for a pass.

6:13. The Cardinals go three-and-out after starting the game going four-and-out. Their offense looks completely inept. Larry Fitzgerald is shaken up and the trainers are checking him out. He hit his head hard on the grass on the third down play. The Cardinals are in big trouble at the end of the first quarter.

6:15 Ginn returns the punt 9 yards to the SF 44. Gore gains three yards up the middle on first down. And that’s the end of the first quarter.

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