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Rapid Reaction: Arizona Runs Through 49ers Without Key Starters

The San Francisco 49ers suffered a humbling loss in Week 9 against an Arizona Cardinals team without a handful of its key starters. Backup quarterback Colt McCoy made his first start since Week 14 of the 2020 season with the New York Giants and had a near-perfect game to lead Arizona to a 31-17 victory.

Without three of their top offensive players (Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins and A.J. Green) Arizona relied heavily on its ground game and it paid off. Running back Chase Edmonds left the game early in the first quarter giving James Conner the bulk of the carries. San Francisco had no answer for Conner, as the running back posted three total touchdowns while rushing for 96 yards on 21 carries and caught all five of his targets for 77 yards.

McCoy finished his day completing an impressive 22-of-26 passes, a career-high, for 249 yards and a touchdown.

Early dropped passes, fumbles and missed tackles haunted San Francisco. In back-to-back quarters, San Francisco pass catchers fumbled on pickups inside Arizona territory, each resulting in points for the Cardinals. Defensively, the 49ers struggled on opportunities to slow down Arizona's offense giving up a number of explosive plays and allowing the Cardinals to rack up 31 points and 437 yards of offense, a season-high allowed.

In George Kittle's return from Injured Reserve, the tight end put up his first 100-yard performance of the season, posting 101 yards on six receptions and a score.

Brandon Aiyuk made a number of contested grabs and finished the day with a season-high 89 yards on six receptions and a score. He also returned a punt 27 yards to give the 49ers possession at Arizona's 37 yard line.

Jimmy Garoppolo had relatively one of his better outings, completing 28-of-40 passes for 326 yards and two touchdowns to one interception late in the fourth quarter.

While playing from behind for the entirety of the contest, San Francisco only posted 11 carries on the day for a total of 39 yards. Running back Jeff Wilson Jr., who was activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list on Saturday, did not see any snaps on the day. Wilson Jr.'s availability likely weighed on Elijah Mitchell's health while playing through a rib injury.

Right tackle Mike McGlinchey left the game with a knee injury and did not return. Tom Compton saw snaps in McGlinchey's absence. There's no update yet on the severity of his injury.

San Francisco's woes at home won't get any easier as the 49ers are set to host Matthew Stafford for the first time as a member of the Los Angeles Rams on "Monday Night Football" in Week 10.

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