With linebacker Patrick Willis back in the lineup after missing two games due to a groin injury, the San Francisco 49ers beat the Arizona Cardinals 32-20 on Oct. 13.
Early in the first, safety Eric Reid picked off quarterback Carson Palmer for a 53-yard return, but the Cardinals defense stepped up and held the red and gold to a field goal. Arizona’s defense held strong when cornerback Carlos Rodgers intercepted Palmer and, again, forced the 49ers to settle for a field goal.
The Cardinals scored after Palmer hit a short pass to wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. When the 49ers got on offense, quarterback Colin Kaepernick was intercepted by linebacker Karlos Dansby in the red zone. The 49ers were then able to grab two points when linebacker Corey Lemonier sacked Palmer for a safety and 8-7 lead.
The defensive score fired up the offensive, allowing Kaepernick to find tight end Vernon Davis for a 61-yard touchdown. The Cardinals answered with a touchdown run by running back Andre Ellington. Kaepernick then went deep, finding Davis who ran 35-yards for another touchdown.
On the Cardinals’ first possession of the third, wide receiver Michael Floyd scored, but the 49ers defense stonewalled Arizona, squashing the team’s two-point conversion attempt.
Late in the third, Willis stripped Fitzgerald and the 49ers took 17 plays and approximately nine minutes to march 83 yards down the field. Once at the six-yard line, Kaepernick handed the ball to running back Kendall Hunter who barreled his way through traffic to score SF’s third touchdown of the game.
With six minutes left in the game, Lemonier caused running back Alfonso Smith to fumble. Linebacker NaVorro Bowman recovered the loose ball, but the 49ers’ offense was unable to nab six and settled for a 44-yard field goal to give them a 12-point lead and eventual win.
Kaepernick went 16/29, throwing for 252 yards and two touchdowns, and Davis, who picked up his ninth career 100-yard game, had 180 yards on eight receptions. The 49ers improve to 4-2 and travel to Tennessee to take on the Titans on Oct. 20. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.