Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mark Black/UPI/Shutterstock (13383747a) San Francisco 49ers Brandon Aiyuk (11) congratulates Deebo Samuel (19) on his second quarter touchdown against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in Chicago on Sunday, September 11, 2022. NFL 49ers Bears, Chicago, Illinois, United States – 11 Sep 2022
49ers 38, Cardinals 10
Everyone in the NFC West had been chasing the Seattle Seahawks for quite a while heading into Week 11, but San Francisco started Monday Night Football with an opportunity to tie Seattle at 6-4 atop the division. The 49ers, having won two in a row entering the night, entered the game with their offensive skill positions at full strength while Arizona was still missing quarterback Kyler Murray and wide receiver Hollywood Brown.
The San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals began Monday night’s game in Mexico City in the pouring rain and in front of a stadium full of loud 49ers’ fans. San Francisco, hoping that their time spent practicing at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs would better prepare them for the 7,200 feet elevation at Estadio Azteca, looked sharp on defense to get things started. They would force a punt from the Cardinals after three quick plays and moments later pinned Arizona back deep in their territory after being forced to punt.
The Cardinals would put together the first successful drive of the game anyway from there, moving the ball into 49ers’ territory before settling for a 40-yard field goal by Matt Prater with eight minutes to play in the first quarter. The two teams otherwise combined for four punts in the opening period, but San Francisco began a promising drive before the game moved into the second quarter.
San Francisco scored the first touchdown of the night on a 7-yard pass from Jimmy Garoppolo to Brandon Aiyuk just moments into the second quarter, taking a 7-3 lead with 13:35 to go until halftime. The 49ers’ continued their hostile takeover of the football game as the second quarter progressed, first when Jimmie Ward intercepted Colt McCoy and moments later when Jimmy Garoppolo connected with George Kittle for a 39-yard touchdown pass that made it 14-3. Arizona responded to halt the 49ers’ momentum on the next drive, as Greg Dortch’s 47-yard reception set up a short James Conner touchdown run to make it 14-10 with just over four minutes to play in the half. San Francisco added a field goal before halftime to carry a 17-10 lead into the break.
The 49ers started the third quarter with a bang, quickly moving 75 yards downfield after receiving the football to start the half, polishing off the drive with a 39-yard touchdown run by Deebo Samuel. San Francisco’s defense stifled the Cardinals’ attack with relative ease as the third quarter wore on and eventually extended their lead to 31-10 when Brandon Aiyuk caught his second touchdown of the night.
The game truly became a blowout in the fourth quarter on Jimmy Garoppolo’s fourth touchdown pass of the night, a 32-yard catch and run by George Kittle to make it 38-10 with 10 minutes to play. Backup quarterbacks Trace McSorley for Arizona and Brock Purdy for San Francisco entered the game from there, as each head coach tried to avoid injuries in the game’s final minutes. Rookie cornerback Samuel Womack III picked up his first career interception in the final moments, and San Francisco salted away the blowout victory. The 49ers moved to 6-4 with the rout and now sit tied with Seattle atop the NFC West heading into Week 12.
Next Week: San Francisco: vs. New Orleans, Arizona: vs. L.A. Chargers