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Cardinals Stand Strong in Low-Scoring Victory Over 49ers

The Arizona Cardinals had a season-low in points, but they held on to improve to 5-0.

The Arizona Cardinals are 5-0 for the first time since moving to the Valley after defeating the San Francisco 49ers 17-10 on Sunday afternoon.

It was a difficult win and painful in many ways. 

Cardinals tight end Maxx Williams was carted off the field in the second quarter and center Rodney Hudson hurt his ribs and did not return after being injured in the third quarter. 

But, the Cardinals gritted out the victory as the defense stood strong in pressure situations. 

The 49ers went for it on fourth down five times, and Arizona got the stop on four of them. 

In the second quarter, San Francisco went for it on fourth down from the Cardinals 1-yard line. Rookie quarterback Trey Lance, starting his first NFL game, rolled out to his right and went for the near-side pylon. 

Linebackers Isaiah Simmons and Tanner Vallejo stifled him inches short to hold onto what was a 7-0 lead. 

Defensive ends J.J. Watt and Zach Allen had massive impacts on the game. 

Watt had three quarterback hits and two tackles for loss. He was a constant force up front. 

Allen had a sack and two tackles for loss. 

Momentum was not with the Cardinals for much of the second half, but they closed out the win on the final two offensive possessions.

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The Cardinals got the ball back leading 10-7 with 7:49 remaining. Quarterback Kyler Murray picked up a first down on a run up the middle. The 10-yard gain was his longest rush of the day.

Two plays after, Murray extended a play with his legs, directed traffic and delivered a jump ball to wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins for a 30-yard gain. 

Two plays later, Murray hit Hopkins on a fade for a touchdown. 

The 49ers responded with a field goal to cut the deficit to seven, but they never saw the ball again. 

Arizona ran out the final 4:12 with two runs and another connection between Murray and Hopkins. 

Murray wasn't his sharpest, and the entire offense struggled for a long stretch of the game. Arizona went 30 game minutes without points. 

Plus, Murray was on the sideline with trainers working on his arm when the defense was on the field at one point.  He said afterward he is fine.

Still, the Cardinals quarterback hit 22 of 31 throws for 239 yards and a touchdown with  passer rating of 104.1. 

Hopkins was his main target with six catches and 87 yards. 

Next up for the Cardinals is a road matchup against the 3-2 Cleveland Browns next Sunday. 

Side notes: 

  • Arizona's leading rusher was receiver Rondale Moore with 38 yards.
  • Safety Budda Baker had his first interception of the season in the first quarter.
  • Lance went 15 of 29 for 192 yards in his first start with a passer rating of 58.4.

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