This is the live blog for the first quarter of the 49ers’ Week 17 game in Arizona against the Cardinals. I will update this frequently with information and analysis from my living room.
1:24 The 49ers win the toss and defer. The Cardinals get the ball first.
1:26 Touchback. They start at their 20.
1:28 The 49ers get no pressure on third-and-three, but Eric Reid breaks up and almost intercepts Carson Palmer’s pass and the Cardinals go three-and-out. James returns the punt 14 yards to the 49ers’ 39.
1:32 The Cardinals take timeout as the 49ers’ face first-and-goal from the 8. It’s taken them just 4 plays to get there. The first two plays were screen passes to Anquan Boldin. They gained 8 yards a piece. Those were followed by two reverses. Boldin gained 11 on the first one and Patton gained 26 on the second one. Very clever of the 49ers to attack the Cardinals’ defense on the edges this way.
1:36 The 49ers fail to score a touchdown. Jerraud Powers knocks away a pass to Vernon Davis in the end zone on first down. Kaepernick throws a screen too low to Boldin and Boldin drops it on second down. And On third down, Kaepernick takes a hit as he throws and sails a pass 10-feet too high for Crabtree in the end zone. Dawson makes the 27-yard field goal. 3-0 Niners.
1:39 On the kick return, Craig Dahl tackles Javier Arenas at the Cardinals’ 12.
1:40 There it is. Carson Palmer throws his first pick of the day right to NaVorro Bowman at the Cardinals’ 25. He returns it to the Cardinals’ 22.
1:45 Touchdown 49ers. Kaepernick throws a 4-yard fade to Boldin in the end zone and he catches it over Powers. 10-0 Niners. How can we take the Cardinals seriously when they don’t match up Peterson on Boldin every snap? Boldin still is the 49ers’ No.1 target and has been all season. Also, the Cardinals have been playing off Boldin most of the game. Boldin made a 22-yard catch earlier in the drive, and his defender was playing about 15 yards off him when the ball was snapped. Why would a defender ever play off Boldin? He’s not going to run by anybody.
1:48 Arenas gets tackled at the Cardinals’ 15 on the kick return.
1:56 Michael Floyd drops a pass on third-and-6 at the 49ers’ 19. Jay Feely pushes the field goal attempt wide right. The Cardinals sure are a caution! 49ers’ ball at their 28.
2:02 Kaepernick completes a simple five-yard pass to Boldin on an out-route, Peterson misses the tackle and Boldin runs 58 yards to the Cardinals’ 3. Next play, Kaepernick play fakes, waggles to the right and hits Vernon Davis in the back of the end zone for a touchdown. 17-0 Niners with 52 seconds left in the first quarter. Boldin has 6 catches for 106 yards. Davis has 1 catch for 3 yards. No other 49ers have caught a pass.
2:07 The Cardinals go three-and-out. Palmer over-threw both of his pass attempts on this drive. Even though the Cardinals won 10 games this season, they must draft a quarterback in a few months.