Arizona Cardinals blown out 38-10 in loss to San Francisco 49ers in Mexico City

Arizona Cardinals running back James Conner, right, runs with the ball as San Francisco 49ers...
Arizona Cardinals running back James Conner, right, runs with the ball as San Francisco 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw defends during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Nov. 21, 2022, in Mexico City. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)(AP)
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 9:15 PM MST
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MEXICO CITY, MX (3TV/CBS 5) -- In a Monday night primetime showdown, the Arizona Cardinals were blown out against the San Francisco 49ers in Mexico City. Many saw it as a must-win for the Cardinals as they were only two games away from first in the NFC West. However, the Cardinals couldn’t catch up, falling 38-10. Kyler Murray was out for the second game in a row, still nursing a hamstring injury. Colt McCoy took over for the Red Birds, making his second start of the season. The Red Birds fall to 4-7 as the Niners improve to 6-4.

Despite the loss, star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins still had nearly 100 receiving yards, and tight end Greg Dortch had over 100 yards. All of San Francisco’s star players had a big night. Niners quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo had four touchdowns, including two to George Kittle. Arizona State alum Brandon Aiyuk also had two touchdowns for the Niners. Monday night was the most points the Cardinals defense has given up since Week 1′s loss against the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Niners were in control for the second half. San Francisco was able to pad their lead with Aiyuk’s second touchdown of the day, giving a 31-10 lead. Kliff Kingsbury opted to go for fourth down twice in the half and came up short both times. On the Niners next drive, Garoppolo found Kittle again for a short pass, and Kittle finished it with a 32-yard touchdown run, a 38-10 lead. Cardinals were held scoreless in the second half, with two failed fourth-down conversions, two punts and an interception.

Cardinals got on the board early with a field goal, but the Niners broke open the game with a touchdown. Garoppolo opted for short checkdowns on the drive but connected with Deebo Samuel and Christian McCaffery for back-to-back large pickups. On the Arizona 12-yard line, Garoppolo found Aiyuk for the score, giving the Niners an early 7-3 lead.

Cardinals didn’t fare well on the next drive. McCoy dropped back, saw Conner alone upfield, and went for a short pass. McCoy’s pass was a bit high, and Conner tipped it up in the air. Niners Jimmie Ward came down with the interception. Garoppolo and the team were able to capitalize on the Cardinals mistake. Garoppolo opted for the deep pass to Kittle, and it was off to the races. Kittle broke two tackles, trotting into the endzone. Niners took a 14-3 lead.

The Cardinals got their only touchdown early in the game, largely thanks to Dortch. McCoy dumped the ball off to Dortch for a short screen pass, and Dortch did the rest. Dortch sprinted down the sideline and broke tackles, picking up a huge 47-yard gain. Conner pummeled into the endzone for the touchdown a couple of plays later, cutting the lead to 14-10 just before halftime. However, the Red Birds suffered another injury blow. Rondale Moore was questionable to return after suffering a groin injury.

The Red Birds roster is a bit beat up. Along with Murray, cornerback Byron Murphy, Jr. and tackle D.J. Humphries were among those out for the game. Cardinals also lost tight end Zach Ertz, for the season after he suffered a knee injury last week.

Among those in attendance at Estadio Azteca was Gov. Doug Ducey. “We’re thrilled to see all the fans here. We’re excited for a Cardinals victory. Even better, our partnership and relationship with Mexico continues to grow and blossom,” he said.

The Cardinals will travel back home to the Valley of the Sun to take on Justin Herbert and the Chargers next Sunday at 2:05 p.m.