Efficient offense by Jimmy G leads 49ers to first place in the NFC West

Nov 21, 2022, 9:16 PM | Updated: Nov 22, 2022, 8:24 am
George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after catching a pass for a touchdown again...
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - NOVEMBER 21: George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after catching a pass for a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals during the second quarter at Estadio Azteca on November 21, 2022 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images)

Una victoria para los San Francisco 49ers en la Ciudad de México.

The San Francisco 49ers were cooking Monday night against the Arizona Cardinals, running through them for a  38-10 win. A victory over a divisional rival is one thing, but this one gives the Red & Gold sole possession of the NFC West at 6-4. San Francisco now also holds the record for most wins on Monday Night Football with 52 over the years.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan dialed up his offense to a tee in Week 11, producing more than 30 points before the end of the third quarter. That’s only the second time this season the 49ers have soared more than 30 points in a game.

The recipe for success all year has been passing to set up the run, and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo did that. He threw four touchdown passes against Arizona, only the fourth time he’s achieved the feat in his career. Surprisingly, three of the four occasions have come against the Cardinals. He finished with 228 yards on 20-29, four TDs and a 131.9 passer rating. Garoppolo also did not throw an interception, the first time in his career he’s gone three consecutive games without a pick.

“When Jimmy has been healthy for us and he has his guys out there, he plays at a very high level,” Kyle Shanahan stated postgame.

It was a group effort offensively, with the 49ers’ skill players running over and around the Cardinals’ defense.

Tight end George Kittle had a breakout game, snagging four catches for 84 yards and two TDs. The first came in the second quarter when Garoppolo found the pass-catcher down the field off-script, taking a lob pass in the middle of the field to the house for 39 yards. His second iced the game, taking a play-action pass down the sideline as he raced past Cardinal defenders to the endzone. A 32-yard score that gave the Red & Gold a four-touchdown-lead.

Running back Christian McCaffrey also had a good game, totaling 106 yards from scrimmage against Arizona. Wide receivers Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel did their thing as well, combining for three scores Monday night.

The latter had the momentum-swinging play. An end-around to Samuel gave the “wideback” room to run with offensive linemen blocking in front of him, scampering past the blocks to open the second half. 24-10 on an eight-play 75 yard drive, the 49ers started to take over.

Defensively, the 49ers produced their third straight shutout in the second half Monday night against the Cardinals. After giving up seven catches to star wideout DeAndre Hopkins in the first half, the team held him to only two receptions in the final two quarters.

Cornerback Charvarius Ward was one of the stars for defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans’ unit, producing a whooping 10 tackles Monday night. Despite getting beat by Hopkins a few times, Ward brushed it off and produced a great game by the end.

Linebackers Dre Greenlaw and Fred Warner were superb in Week 11, racking up 15 tackles and one sack against the Cardinals’ offense. Safety turned nickel-back Jimmie Ward also got his first pick off the year, catching a bobbled pass off the hands of RB James Conner. He finished with five tackles and one pass break-up.

Monday’s win is also a historical moment for Shanahan individually, getting his coaching record over .500 for the first time. He sits at 49-48 as a head honcho in the NFL.

An almost perfect performance for the 49ers, in front of a sellout crowd at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. VividSeats had predicted an 82% share of 49ers Faithful in the crowd, the real numbers looked a bit more jarring at kickoff. Every time the 49ers scored, loud cheers erupted from the stadium, making the experience one-of-one for the Red & Gold.

“I love San Francisco but if I couldn’t be there, I’d be here,” Shanahan added Monday night. “This place is awesome. It was one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever been a part of. We were told it might be like that but it was better than I expected.”

“I’ll remember this one forever,” Warner said postgame.


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