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What We Learned: Cardinals 23 - 49ers 20

View images from the Week 10 game between San Francisco and Arizona.

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Oh, so close.

The San Francisco 49ers were looking to snap two streaks on Sunday. The visiting 49ers prevented an opponent for reaching the 100-yard mark for the first time since Week 1.

But more importantly, a valiant road effort fueled by four takeaways against the Arizona Cardinals came up short. San Francisco lost on a 34-yard Chandler Catanzaro field goal as time expired.

The Cardinals defeated the 49ers, 23-20, giving Chip Kelly's team an eighth straight defeat.

Here's what we learned from the Week 10 regular season contest.49ers Offense Relies on Passing Game

Pierre Garçon was active for the first time since Oct. 16. The third-year running back, however, was bottled up for most of the day.

Hyde finished the game with 13 carries for 14 yards. Colin Kaepernick led the 49ers in rushing with 55 yards on 10 carries. He also added a game-tying touchdown run from four yards out with two minutes left in the game.

San Francisco's signal-caller was especially effective through the air.

Kaepernick was 17-of-30 passing for 210 yards and one touchdown pass.

After four of San Francisco's first nine plays were tackled behind the line of scrimamge by Arizona, the 49ers wisely started to attack a Cardinals secondary that was without safety Tyrann Matheiu. Kaepernick connected on a 32-yard pass to Garrett Celek, an 11-yard throw to Rod Streater and then got the 49ers into the end zone to cut into a 14-point defecit.

Slot receiver Jeremy Kerley was the recipient in the back corner of the end zone for a 17-yard touchdown. Cardinals cornerback Marcus Cooper let Kerley slip behind him as Arizona's pass-rush surrounded Kaepernick. The 49ers quarterback slid to his right and kept his eyes downfield to locate his receiver in the end zone.

Kap threw for 116 yards in first half and posted a quarterback rating of 125. The 49ers trailed 20-10. Although San Francisco outscored Arizona in the second half by a seven-point margin, it was not enough to pull off the upset win.

Kelly was complimentary of Kaepernick's continued development in the 49ers scheme. It'll be imperative for the sixth-year pro to build on this performance with Week 11 being a home matchup against the Tom Brady-led New England Patriots.

Defense Ends 100-yard Streak

In case you've missed it, San Francisco's 32nd-ranked run defense has been a big component to the team's struggles.

On Sunday, the 49ers played improved rush defense against the Cardinals. David Johnson rushed for 157 yards and two scores against San Francisco in Week 5.

Five weeks later, Johnson rushed 19 times for 55 yards. The lone blemish for the 49ers defense was allowing Johnson to run for an 18-yard score in the second quarter. Johnson also caught a 3-yard touchdown.

The Cardinals attacked the 49ers with a pass-heavy gameplan. Carson Palmer threw 49 times and completed 30 of his pass attempts for 376 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.

Which leads to...

Defense Records Four Takeaways
It started early for the 49ers defense.

First, cornerback Keith Reaser forced a fumble on Cardinals receiver J.J. Nelson in the first quarter. Veteran safety Antoine Bethea recovered the ball at Arizona's 49-yard line. The 49ers, however, were forced to punt after Reaser recorded his first career forced fumble.

Later, linebacker Eli Harold recorded his first career sack and forced fumble with a sack-strip on Carson Palmer in the third quarter. DeForest Buckner quickly recovered for his second career fumble recovery.

Eric Reid intercepted Palmer late in the third quarter, but the 49ers offense was forced to punt. Linebacker Gerald Hodges took sole possession of the team's interception lead by picking off Palmer in the fourth quarter. The key turnover led to San Francisco's best offensive drive of the year, a 7-play, 57-yard scoring drive that saw Kaepernick tie the game at 20.

The 49ers talked about forcing turnovers all week, and it showed. Unfortunately, San Francisco's offense was only able to turn the four takeaways into 10 points.

The defense has now forced 15 turnovers on the season.

Niner Nuggets

-- Phil Dawson connected on his 398th and 399th career field goals from 49- and 53-yards out, respectively.

-- The 49ers were penalized a season-high nine times for 100 yards. Kelly said it was a big factor in the road team losing.

-- DeForest Buckner recorded his third career sack. He later picked up his second career fumble recovery on Harold's sack.

-- Jimmie Ward finished the game with seven tackles and a game-high four pass breakups.

-- Kerley led the 49ers with seven catches for 71 receiving yards.

-- Shayne Skov played his first defensive snaps of the season in the second half on Sunday. He joined Michael Wilhoite on the field on first and second downs. Nick Bellore entered the game on third downs.

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