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What Went Right/Wrong in Cardinals' Loss to 49ers in Mexico City

The Arizona Cardinals were absolutely run over by the San Francisco 49ers in Mexico City. Here's everything that went right/wrong.

There are losses, and then there are beatdowns. What the Arizona Cardinals participated in on Monday night in Mexico City against the San Francisco 49ers was the latter of the two.

While there were a few good things to come out of this loss, the Cardinals were thoroughly broken by the 49ers in just about every aspect of the game. 

Where the 49ers looked flawless, the Cardinals looked defective. Let's go ahead and take a look at the things that did go right for the Cardinals in this loss to the 49ers, but also at the things that went wrong.

What Went Right

Kliff Kingsbury

DeAndre Hopkins once again

There have been few constants for the Cardinals in 2022, but one of them has been the play of its pass catchers. On Monday night, DeAndre Hopkins was once again dominant.

Hopkins dominated the first half of the night before cooling in the second half and finishing with nine receptions for 91-yards on 12 targets. Hopkins was absolutely dominating whoever was lined up against him and was routinely making highlight reel plays. 

Hopkins was actually flagged for taunting when he pointed at two defensive backs who couldn't cover him on a crucial third down, but that's neither here nor there.

Without the performance of Hopkins, the Cardinals would be without an offense and that was no different on Monday night. Hopkins is on pace for almost 100 receptions and over 1,000 yards in spite of missing the first six games of the 2022 season. 

He's been the focal point of the offense since his return from suspension and that was the role he played against the 49ers.

Greg Dortch plays Robin to Nuk's Batman

While Hopkins played out of his mind, teammate and fellow wide receiver Greg Dortch also had himself a career night. He was Robin to Hopkins's Batman if you will.

Dortch hauled in nine of his 10 targets for a career-high 103 yards including a 47-yard scamper that put the Cardinals in scoring position. When the ball was in Dortch's hands, it felt like something explosive was bound to happen.

With Rondale Moore going down early in the game with a groin injury, the Cardinals needed anyone to step up across Hopkins and Dortch answered the call. The Cardinals may have found themselves a weapon worth holding on to for the long-term with Dortch, especially given the injuries at the wide receiver position.

What Went Wrong

Christian McCaffrey
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Tackling = optional?

Show me a play where the Cardinals made form tackles and I'll show you five where they had no idea what tackling is.

Throughout the night the Cardinals were put on skates by opposing blockers and ball carriers created wicked yards after the catch. Between the 49ers' flawless execution of their blocking and the poor angles, pursuit, and overall technique from the Cardinals' defenders, things were way too easy for the opposition to move the ball.

There are several players for the Cardinals who looked absolutely pitiful trying to stop 49ers ball carriers whether it was through the air or on the ground. This has unfortunately been a common theme in the 2022 season for the Cardinals, but it hadn't looked worse up until their trip to Mexico City.

Straight up thoroughly outplayed

You'd be forgiven if you turned the Cardinals game off at any point during this game because things got out of hand and it never got remotely close to being within the grasp of the team again. It was a performance that simply wasn't worth watching.

There are plenty of reasons why the Cardinals were just flat-out beaten down between injuries and coaching, but the 49ers simply came out and decided they were the better and more confident team on the field. The Cardinals didn't have any answers for anything that the 49ers schemed up on either side of the ball and it wound up in an embarrassing loss.

This was one of the worst performances we have seen out of the 2022 Cardinals, and unfortunately, there is little to make us believe that things will be getting better any time soon. The Cardinals are now 1-4 in NFC West division games and at 4-7 on the year the season can just about be put to rest. Keep hope alive if you insist, but it'll make these losses easier to swallow if you come to grips with the fact that the 2022 season is a lost one for the Cardinals.

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