49ers vs. Cardinals live blog


This is the live blog for the 49ers’ Week 12 game against the Arizona Cardinals. I will update this frequently with information and analysis from the press box.

11:39 Here are the 49ers’ inactives:
WR DeAndrew White
RB Carlos Hyde
CB Chris Davis
LB Ray-Ray Armstrong
LB Ahmad Brooks
G Brandon Thomas
OL Ian Silberman

11:40 The 49ers say Ahmad Brooks suffered a concussion during last week’s game. Odd. He seemed as lucid as could be after the game.

1:03 The 49ers win the toss and choose to receive.

1:05 Touchback.

1:09 Blaine Gabbert holds the ball in the pocket and takes a sack on third-and-9 from the Cardinals’ 33. Jimmie Ward downs Bradley Pinion’s punt at the Arizona 1. Shaun Draughn ran four times for 32 yards on that drive.

1:16 Tramaine Brock breaks up a pass intended for J.J. Nelson on third-and-10 from the Cardinals’ 15.

1:16 Bruce Ellington drops the punt and the Cardinals recover. Kyle-Williamsesque. First-and-10 for the Cardinals at the San Francisco 39.

1:26 Larry Fitzgerald drops a pass in the end zone on third-and-3 from the Niners’ 8. He had a step on Jimmie Ward. No surprise the Cardinals went after him in the red zone. Arizona makes a field goal and take a 3-0 lead.

1:32 Garrett Celek is injured on the field after Draughn rushes for two yards on first down. Draughn seemed to fall into Celek’s legs from behind.

1:35 Trainers drive Celek off the field.

1:37 Celek: questionable with ankle injury.

1:37 Gabbert’s first pass downfield gets intercepted by Tyrann Mathieu. Gabbert underthrew Quinton Patton on a deep corner route.

1:44 Fitzgerald runs a slant and beats Tramaine Brock for a seven-yard catch on third-and-3.  End of first quarter. First-and-10 from the Niners’ 28 when the second quarter begins.

1:53 On third-and-17, Palmer throws a perfect pass to Tramaine Brock in the end zone, and Brock just drops it. He lost his focus on that one. The Cardinals kick another field goal and take a 6-0 lead.

2:02 Gabbert throws a gutsy four-yard pass to Draughn on third-and-14.

2:08 Eric Reid breaks up a deep pass intended for David Johnson on fourth-and-2.

2:09 On third-and-8, Gabbert throws a one-yard pass to Quinton Patton who bobbles the ball and then drops it.

2:15 Michael Wilhoite tackles Andre Ellington in the backfield for a one-yard loss on third-and-1. The Cardinals haven’t shown up yet.

2:19 Gabbert throws a 15-yard pass over the middle to Vance McDonald. Next play, Gabbert scrambles to his right and throws against his body to Anquan Boldin who picks up 15. First-and-10 from the San Francisco 48 after the two-minute warning.

2:27 Phil Dawson makes a 53-yard field goal as time expires. Niners trail 6-3 at halftime.

2:37 Gabbert played scared in the first half. A scared man can’t win.

2:40. Celek is out with an ankle injury.

2:52 On the Cardinals 9th play inside the Niners’ 5-yard line, David Johnson runs into the end zone from 1 yard out. 13-3 Cardinals. The Niners committed five penalties on that drive–four in the end zone.

3:02 Gabbert throws a touchdown pass to a wide open Vance McDonald on second-and-five from the 8. 13-10 Cardinals. Gabbert threw a seven-yard pass to Blake Bell who turned the catch into a 48-yard gain earlier in the drive.

3:09 Arik Armstead hits Palmer as he throws on third-and-7. The pass intended for J.J. Nelson sails high. Arizona punts into the end zone.

3:16 On third-and-14, Gabbert’s pass travels 5 yards in the air. Blake Bell catches it and picks up six yards after the catch. Phil Dawson makes a 33-yard field goal, and the score is tied at 13.

3:21 Palmer completes a five-yard pass to Fitzgerald on third-and-1, and the third quarter ends.

3:25 Tank Carradine is flagged for illegal hands to the face on third-and-8. Have a seat, Tank.

3:28 Palmer throws behind Fitzgerald on third-and-7, and the Cardinals will punt.

3:33 Boldin runs a slant on third-and-7, and Gabbert throws too far in front of him. Gabbert underthrew him deep four plays earlier. Cardinals’ ball at their 15 after Pinion’s punt.

3:50 Ward gives up a 34-yard catch to J.J. Nelson on second-and-14 from the Niners’ 35. This just in: Ward can’t cover.

3:54 Palmer scrambles for a touchdown on second-and-goal from the 7, but the Cardinals miss the extra point. 19-13 Arizona. Will Gabbert do something special?

3:57 Niners start at their 21 with 2:21 left.

4:06 Gabbert throws a pass two yards in front of the first-down marker on fourth-and-20 with the game on the line. Boldin catches the ball but the Niners turn it over on downs. Game over. Pathetic. Stay tuned for grades.

    1. Niners palyed well against a very good team today!

      Bad call on ref for roughing the passer whicj should have been sack on third down and delay of game in final scoring drive for ARZ. Thus led to ARZ Touchdown, othwise a few mentle errors for a young team: fumbled return and interception.

      The only issue I see is a week offensive line thst should be corrected in the off season. Coacingh was good and defense played well. I like that Tomusla has confidence in his players and takes risk on 4th down, he should be commended.

      Grant, I will be looking at you grades, therefore I ask that you honestly grade out.

      This 9er team played thier hearts out today.


  1. If he suffered a concussion wouldn’t he have been going through the protocols all week? I don’t remember seeing any mention of that.

      1. Larry also said that they should invite the blitz, then burn them like Wilson did to the Niners last week. Where have I seen that before…..?

        1. Where would the 49ers and the 49ers media be without your insights? Must have been a dull and thoughtless world they lived in before being able to read your wisdom here. ;-)

          Seriously though, you don’t think there is just a tiny amount of hubris and self-aggrandisement believing whenever someone says or does something you have suggested it is because they read your comment?

          1. I may throw out a ton of ideas, but it could just be the Nostradamus effect. He said so much, everything will find a match if they look hard enough.
            Guess I should just be humble and not point out those amazing coincidences.

            1. I don’t think it is a coincidence. Its a sign the ideas have some merit and that someone other than yourself can also independently come up with them.

              It would be different if you were coming up with original ideas, but you are not. The things people are saying that you have also said previously are all ideas that are taken from what has been done in the past.

  2. The remainder of this season will be a proving ground for the highly regarded organizational analytics department- who knows how it is perceived outside the organization. This should be an interesting experiment wouldn’t you say Doctor York? The 49ers may revolutionize football again in a fashion similar to Walsh’s WCO.

    1. Or everything can go down in a conflagration. Looks like the coaches have quit by going timid, and the players are not far behind.

  3. It is important to emphasize how much Coach Tomulsa relies on analytics he is a staunch adherent to the numbers. Gotta keep the boss happy or another leak might spring. What goes around comes around. Strange management system.

  4. If we win out from here on out we have a legitimate shot at the playoffs and the win streak would put us in a great position to go on a run in the postseason. Go Niners!

    1. Omg I’m watching this whole thing go down on Redzone, Scott Hansen breaks in and says sorry folks there’s nothin else going on right now.

    1. Yep Seb, the 49ers have surveillance on your phone and internet just to make sure they get all your nuggets of wisdom for their offensive play.

    2. Seb you give yourself way too much credit. If you were that much of a football intellect, you would not be watering grass for a living!

  5. “All aboard!” The Blaine Train is leaving the station! Lmao.

    “Beware of Honey Badgers bearing gifts.” You knew nothing good would come from Mathieu’s praise of Gabbert earlier in the week.

  6. Sooooo Goooood to see Seb back after being MIA on live blog after his boy, Kap was benched….Now with Seb’s RB and hero, Hayne also benched would you care to pick other 49er players for us to enjoy also seb, from your loser locker room, after you also picked the 49ers to finish 10-6?

        1. Yes but he made some terrible decisions today against the Bengals. They are the most penalized team in the NFL and consistently shoot themselves in the foot.
          The 49ers, with a legit coaching staff would be 3 wins better.

  7. I give up on this game! Going outside to do…anything else.
    Bad play,
    bad coaching
    bad officiating
    NFL has really dropped off this year in quality

  8. The players show the same duh look and lack of emotion that Tomsula’s face always exhibits. This team sure seems well taught, huh Jed?

  9. I still think if we get on a roll here we could easily run the table and be in the mix for a wild card come January. Has anyone looked at the schedule??!?

  10. Seriously substandard coaching staff. Under normal circumstances you root for the Niners to get blown out as badly as possible, the team gets a high draft position and cleans house at the end of the year. The problem here is the house-cleaners are the real problem.

  11. LOL, did anyone see the sign that was flown over the stadium that said? “Jed & 49ers should mutually part ways.”

    Hilarious. Pointless but still pretty funny.

    1. I wonder what’s the difference between between how our defense plays at home vs. on the road? They’re a different team. Is it just youth and inexperience?

      1. Good question but the defense gets zero help from the offense. This game is close but won’t be soon as the defense is starting break down.

        1. Did you hear the announcers say they were on the field for 80 plays last week? ITs what was great about the slow pace JH and GR ball control offense. They ate up a lot of clock.

          VMac catches one.

          1. Whether you go slow or fast, it’s all about converting 1st downs and scoring points. If you don’t move the ball you won’t win.

            The Cards are all over the underneath routes.

  12. I am changing things up, so instead of beer, I opened a bottle I found deep in my stock.
    A Domaine de Piaugier – Sablet 94.

  13. FG just before gun goes off ending half, for 3 pts…Nostalgic, reminds me of TCM’s Knute Rockne classic movie, “Win one for the Gip.”

  14. This game is winnable I hope the 49ers offense answers the second half bell. The defense is playing like warriors. And Phil Dawson what a midfield maestro!

  15. I guess you have to ram an early Christmas gift down arz throat.
    Last time they played ck gift wrapped them the game. This time Brock is making a serous push for Santa Claus

    1. I am actually surprised that we haven’t seen plays to Miller since we’re down to 2 TE’s. He’ll throw a lot of short stuff and 1 or 2 long plays. You’ll still be frustrated.

  16. Some pretty weak calls for PI.

    Offense needs to be aggressive.
    Pass down the field and use Miller for some passes in the flat. Try to throw on 1st down.

  17. Choo chooo mutha******s!!!
    Until teams start covering our tight ends keep killin them with them. Open up so WR matches! This game might come down to a dropped int in the end zone! Smh

  18. lets, see, he rolled right, drew the defense to his side, then threw it back across the field. Another amazing coincidence.
    The coaching is looking smarter all the time.

      1. The NFL is not interested in winners or losers. They want a close game. By using flags to negate negative plays they keep the game close. The integrity of the game is not questioned because they are still allowing the outcome tbd

  19. Hope the defense isn’t gassed. They look half a step slow on this series. In a nip and tuck game you have got to fire on all cylinders.

  20. Announcers just said this is the first time all year Mangini is up in the booth. Maybe he has a better vantage point and that’s helping him call a better defensive game.

    1. I will say that the defense played their heart out. Niner offense just could not make the big play. Still, they were in the game until 57 seconds left.
      I am content, even though they lost.

  21. Yes, a struggle of gargantuan proportions! Two mighty, irresistible forces, struggling to the death–the fate of the world in the balance. Only Seb can predict the outcome…

    1. Aside from giving up the catch, what did Ward do wrong on that play? I’ve watched the replay, he disrupted the route, he had pretty decent position on Nelson, it was just a very good throw and catch. Sometimes you get beat.

        1. No safety over the top and a nice throw and catch. Sometimes there’s nothing you can really do. This is a young secondary that just helped hold the Cards to 19 points, and all they get is grief over a play or two. Kind of ridiculous.

          I would complain about 13 points from the offense.

  22. Dear God… Penalties are killing us.
    Its official Qb’s are now on par with punters and kickers. They should no longer be referred to as football players going forward.

    1. When you’re a bad football team, you don’t get calls. Not even the ones at home. I’ve never seen a team get 3 pass interference inside the 8 yard line. They need to lose every game anyway. We need a franchise QB.

    1. Yes, agree poor call.

      This is football and players know the risk involved. Afarid this officiaiting team was not up to par: confused on downs and and this call too. I believe this was a game changer.

      Just my two cents.


        1. The 49ers have turned up short on critical pass patterns for years. It must be something in the cheap Chinese bottled water John York has been buying all these years.

        1. He’s lucky he didn’t get a taunting or unsportsmanlike when he held down the player with his knee on his ribs during the punt return….

  23. Can’t take a sack. It’s 4 down territory anyways. You knew it was an all out blitz, run a screen or check it outside. Geep, you are fired!

  24. Who could have guessed or believed Az who goes down the field more than any NFL team would abandon the deep pass with both their RB’s out…

  25. Well, they lost, but they showed glimmers of innovation, the defense showed up, and Tomsula went bold.
    However, there were way too many unforced errors, and too many drive extenders for the Cards. Refs deserve a Christmas card from Ariens.

  26. Haven’t watched the game other than a few highlights on NFL.com, but 49ers fans should be pretty happy with that result, surely?

    From what I’ve heard/ read it sounds like the D played pretty well and kept a high-powered offense in check for most of the game, the offense got it going after a sluggish start, penalties were a key factor in getting beat rather than just poor play, and most importantly the 49ers gain ground in the chase for a high draft pick.

    1. Actually it came down to a poor play by Gabbert. He knew the blitz was coming and took the sack rather than throw it away. The very last play was indicative of the “teaching” or lack thereof when Boldin ran his route 2 yards shy of the line to gain….

      1. The sack was the big mistake.

        Boldin route was what the defense gave him.
        They played the sticks and Boldin had to break the tackle to get a first down.
        Not a good option but the Ravens used a dump off to Ray Rice on 4th and 23 to avoid elimination, get to the playoffs and win the SB. So you never know.

        They should have thrown a longer pass up for grabs and see what happens.
        But when you are at 4th and 20 that is not much you can do. Especially if you are Chryst.

    2. The defense made Arizona’s OL look bad and kept Palmer from getting comfortable. Palmer didn’t have a good game even when he had time. Isn’t it amazing how important an OL is to the performance of all the “skill” players.

  27. Niners palyed well against a very good team today!

    Bad call on ref for roughing the passer which should have been sack on third down and delay of game in final scoring drive for ARZ. Thus led to ARZ touchdown, othwise a few mentle errors for a young team: fumbled return and interception.

    The only issue I see is a week offensive line thst should be corrected in the off season. Coaching was good and defense played well. I like that Tomusla has confidence in his players and takes risk on 4th down, he should be commended.

    Grant, I will be looking at you grades, therefore I ask that you honestly grade out.

    This 9er team played thier hearts out today.


          1. Yes, and that play should have been challenged. I think you can challenge delay of game. In addition, the illegal touching completion in the end zone should have been challenged as well, it was an incomplete pass. The challenge process needs to be cleaned up.

          1. Would have been a heck of a play if he made it. As Grimey pointed out above, no safety help over the top on a guy that runs a sub-4.3s 40. Ward got his hands on him at the LOS, disrupted the route, and stayed with him well enough to be in position to make the tackle as the ball arrived. There wasn’t much else he could do. It was a good throw that gave Ward no chance to make a play on it.

            I know you don’t like him as a player, and I understand your reasons why, but I think you are being unfair picking on this play as an example of why he’s no good.

            1. I just see him always giving up the big play! Today was another example.
              It’s not that I don’t like him. He’s just another guy Baalke over reached on.

              1. Scooter I don’t mean to pick on him it’s just that these last few drafts by Baalke have resulted in a lot of average guys. Regardless of where they were drafted, he has missed on a a lot of them. I think Ward is one of them!

              2. The problem is, the plays where he has good coverage and the ball doesn’t go in his direction are missing from your analysis.

              3. Grimey, agreed. As David Neumann highlighted during the week, he mostly plays pretty sound football. But Ward’s lack of positive impact plays means the only times he really gets highlighted is on negative plays, so he looks like he is performing worse than he really is.

        1. Yep.

          Forgot to mention that one.

          This team is not good, so it is almost impossible to overcome their limitations + the turnovers + the referees.

          Today they might have won if not for a few absurd calls (and non-calls).

      1. When the play clock hits zero then the responsible official looks up to see if the ball has been snapped. That gives ALL teams an extra fraction of a second to snap the ball. It’s the league approved method used to determine when to throw the flag.

    1. The bad call on Dial was a bit of a turning point; a 25 yard turn-around.
      Dial was pretty funny in his locker interview too, although he definitely wasn’t laughing.
      I thought it was a text book tackle of a QB, but maybe it’s like a completed pass; nobody knows what the F it is!

      1. The league will announce that it was a good call because even when you hit the QB in the chest you aren’t allowed to slide up under his chin with your helmet. If the QB’s head snaps back like Palmer’s did the NFL wants that called. The referee saw the head snap back but there was no why he could see where the helmet was. On the replay, I thought the helmet hit Palmer’s chin.

        It’s very hard to catch a ball or play defense in the NFL right now.

        On the TV broadcast they kept moaning about it not being an intentional hit to the head. Intent has nothing to do with it, especially with “Concussion” buying ad time during NFL games.

        1. The initial hit was with the shoulder pad in the chest. There was incidental contact after he went down but I saw Dial keep his head up so it was not a blow with the helmet.
          I agree, the league will defend the call and Dial will be fined.

          1. Dial’s helmet made contact with the bottom of Palmer’s face mask as he was falling backwards. It looked like it could have also got his chin. Palmer’s head did snap back.

  28. NFL is so predictable I knew for a fact they would bail (3rd and 19 and they found a way to get them back in the game good job refs with a Atrocious call) the Cardinals out on their last drive to make sure they got a touchdown , the NFL makes WWF look real NFL is so fake

  29. Overall, a better effort than expected.
    But Chryst is beyond atrocious as always.
    And the refs were even worse.

    I get that the bad team doesn’t get most of the calls, but today was waaay over the top.
    The offensive PI on McDonald and the Roughing the passer on Dial were ridiculous.
    The endzone PI on Reid was very questionable too. And they “missed” some pretty obvious holding calls by Ari OL.

    When you have a fantasy league and some of your friends that are Packers, Colts, Ravens, etc, fans text you to say that they think your team is getting robbed, you know it is really bad.

    On the bright side, I do think Gabbert has some good potencial.
    With better coaches he might be able to be an above average QB, and they don’t grow on trees.

  30. Ha hahahahaha
    Boone was fabulous in the locker room!
    ‘This is a man’s game’
    ‘This is a violent game. Not everybody wants to play this game. Let US play the game’
    ‘I don’t care Roger, it’s the truth.’
    Boonie’s going to be making a sizable “donation”, and he doesn’t care. Heh heh heh

    1. and yet he and his fellow players with their lawsuits made him change the game. Nobody’s fault but the players and their union.

      1. Md
        Did you see Boone’s name as a litigant on any of those civil filings?
        What part of Dial’s tackle was illegal or improper?
        The ticky tack PI calls are judgement calls, but the one on Ward WAS an uncatchable out of bounds throw. The Offensive Interference call a phantom call.
        Rhino had a right to be mad and he’s not hypocritical about it.

        1. “What part of Dial’s tackle was illegal or improper?”

          The crown of his helmet hit the bottom of Palmer’s facemask. We can debate the rule, but it was called properly.

          1. Bill crap! It was a hot at the chest and it hit him so hard his helmet came loose. Guaranteed they get another I’m sorry letter from the NFL!

          2. If that was an illegal hit, then the strike zone for a defender is smaller than the strike zone for a batter. The initial contact was chest to chest,with head up. The contact by face mask and then helmet were secondary (and in my opinion incidental). An Umpire will give the armpits and the thighs, Dial’s hit was better centered.
            Common sense must intrude occasionally, and I submit that if no flag had been thrown the League Office would’ve been fine with it.

            1. “the strike zone for a defender is smaller than the strike zone for a batter.”

              Yep. As I said, we can debate about the rules, but that was the proper call. Just stinks when it goes against your team.

            1. Who wears a single bar any more? Belitnikoff?
              I was talking about Dial’s face mask since he was head up. The contact points slid up because of the physical principle of momentum. Neither intent, technique, nor result of contact were dangerous or outside the bonds of tackling in the game of full contact football.

              1. But that’s not what the NFL wants in future court cases. All contact with the head of a quarterback puts you in position to get a flag. I predict that the flag will be judged valid, but that Dial will not be fined.

                Was the call that cost us the Saints game and home field advantage similar?

        2. When you’re involved in a union whether you vote it or not you’re stuck! I didn’t see him standing against it. Especially with his holdouts

  31. Well I watche most of the game and thought Gabbert did fine. He missed some throws, and also made some nice plays, Jury is still out, but he does look like he give the offense a chance at least.

    That sack was very Alex Smith like that made it tough down and distance. It was a solid throw, maybe he thought Boldin can fight for the extra yard or so.

    The TE suddenly look like nice options but Patton is a mystery. He dropped that pass that would have helped that last drive.

    Officiating is horrendous. But AZ is the better team with the better QB. That was the difference.

    Also better coaching might have made a difference too.

  32. Trade Torrey Smith. He is a veteran guy who cost his team today with a foolish penalty. He is irrelevant in this time of a rebuild!

    1. Doesn’t matter. There was two first down penalties in that play anyways!
      Refs made sure they had it right.
      This league is a hoax!

    2. He’s not worth the money they’re paying him. Boldin keeps making plays it’s crazy. Team should have keep Crabtree. They are still short one good WR.

      I think Gabbert is going to be fine. Not elite, but better then most. Dude has a quick release. Greg Roman would do wonders with him.

        1. “Kept Crabtree? Why”

          Younger and the Raiders are paying him less than the 49ers are paying Boldin. I don’t think he would have re-signed here anyway unless no other team wanted him.

  33. The 49ers played very competitive against a SB contending team.
    The defense is completely puzzling in that it can play a very game one week and then put out a stinker like last week.

    The team has been playing better with Gabbert as starter. Gabbert is looking like a real find and it seems to reverberate with the entire team. He made a couple of mistakes but he also made some very nice throws and decisions.
    Gabb and VMac are starting to build a nice chemistry and Blake Bell could prove to put a star on Baalke’ hat.

    I thought that Gerald Hodges acquitted himself well and should get more playing time going forward. Wilhiote is a backup at best.
    Got some rough ref calls but the Wilhiote breakup pass play in the endzone could have been called a TD because it looked like it ricocheted off his foot and then caught by a Cards receiver.

    I felt that the defense kept us close enough to give us a shot at the end but Gabbert took a sack and then threw a short pass hoping that Boldin could break a couple of tackles and run for a 1st down. Like I said, Gabbert made some nice throws but he also made two mistakes at the most crucial time.

    I give the entire team a C grade.

    1. AES, that pass 4th down short of the marker IS ON BOLDIN 100%! The quarterback has to be able to trust that his veteran WR is going to get to the 1st down marker, and slightly beyond. It’s Boldin job, and he failed, not Gabbert!

      1. Here’ Boldin’s response:

        ““There’s a clock going off in your head and you have to break or else they’ll get to the quarterback by that time,” Boldin said. “I tried to get as deep as I can and make a break on it.”

        He’ one of the slowest guys on the team so he won’t get as far downfield as other WRs would. Not making excuses for him. Just saying that I can kind of understand where he’s coming from. Maybe when he was younger he would have fought for that extra yardage. At any rate, I’d like to see what Smelter can do.

      2. 49, if Gabbert had thrown away the football to avoid the sack, he would only be confronted with 4th and 10, and AB would have made a first down by 8 yards.

        1. Actually Arizona would have brought pressure again at 4th and ten, so the same play probably wouldn’t have been available. They were camped out at the line to gain with less pressure when it was 4th and 20.

          Things never stay the same when a play is rerun under different conditions.

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