This is the live blog for the second 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.
6:17 The 49ers have the ball. It’s second and 7 from their 47 yard line.
6:19 Calais Campbell tackles Gore a yard behind the line of scrimmage on second down, and Smith checks down to Kyle Williams for a 4-yard gain on third and 8. Vernon Davis still has not been targeted for a pass. The 49ers waste great field position and an opportunity to put the game away early. Very conservative play calling by Greg Roman calling a run play on second and 7. Patrick Peterson fair catches Andy Lee’s punt at the Arizona 10.
6:26 Early Doucet gains 16 yards on a screen pass, but besides that play the Cardinals do nothing and go nowhere. They’ve had two nice screen plays and that’s it.
6:27 Ginn returns the punt 35 yards to the Cardinals 45. He gives the offense a second opportunity to put this game out of reach early.
6:33 Smith takes the Niners second timeout after taking a sack for an 8-yard loss on 2nd and 15. The Cardinals blitzed up the middle and the 49ers couldn’t pick up Daryl Washington. Greg Roman called a Gore run up the middle on first and 15. Gore got stuffed for no gain. Roman has called an extremely conservative game so far, and although the 49ers have moved the ball, they’ve only scored 7 points. Third and 23 at the Cardinals 47.
6:36 Alex Smith throws a short pass to Crabtree in the slot. He breaks a Patrick Peterson leg tackle and picks up 22 yards to put the 49ers back in field goal range. David Akers makes the 43 yarder. 10-0 49ers with 5:58 left in the first half. Very conservative not to go for it on fourth and 1. Vernon Davis still has not been targeted for a pass.
6:41 The Cardinals go three and out again. On third and seven, Fitzgerald ran a slant, Skelton threw a high pass and Culliver knocked it away. The Cardinals punt. Ginn returns it to the SF 32.
6:46 Vernon Davis finally gets a pass. He easily beats safety Kerry Rhodes on a skinny post from the slot for a 25-yard catch. Alex Smith has driven the 49ers offense all the way down the field on four straight completions. He’s been terrific on this drive, although he got lucky when Delanie Walker caught a tipped pass for a 14-yard gain. Now it’s first and goal at the Arizona 10.
6:48 Alex Smith holds on to the ball and takes a sack and loses six on first and goal from the 10. That’s two sacks he’s taken because he’s held onto the ball too long. It’s going to be tough to get the touchdown now.
6:50 Alex Smith hits a wide open Manningham for a 7 yard gain and it’s third and goal from the 9. There’s 1:47 left in the half and the 49ers call their final timeout.
6:51 Alex Smith throws a pass to Crabtree in the flat, Peterson jukes himself and falls on his back while Crabtree strolls into the end zone for the touchdown. 17-0. I don’t think the Cardinals offense can score 18 points in this game. They have 2 first downs and they’re averaging 2.6 yards per play.
6:54 Alex Smith has completed 14 of 15 passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns. He’s having one of the best halves of his career.
6:59 John Skelton throws a Hail Mary on the last play of the half and Chris Culliver picks it off. Just a dominant performance by the 49ers in the first half. Michael Crabtree has been terrific in the red zone, catching two touchdowns. Alex Smith has only thrown one incomplete pass. The defensive line is consistently hitting Skelton. Vernon Davis caught one pass and gained a whopping 25 yards. It’s like he’s the last receiver on Greg Roman’s mind.
7:07 Does anyone else think Patrick Peterson is overrated as a cornerback? He’s gotten whupped every time he’s played the 49ers.