What We Learned: Cardinals 33 - 49ers 21

View images from the TNF Color Rush game between San Francisco and Arizona during Week 5.

The San Francisco 49ers dropped their fourth consecutive game in a 33-21 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on "Thursday Night Football."

Three 49ers turnovers proved costly in Week 5 as the team is now 1-4 on the season. They'll have 10 days to prepare for a Week 6 road trip against the Buffalo Bills. Here are the top takeaways from tonight's contest.

Jeremy Kerley Ignites 49ers Offense

After a scoreless first quarter, the Blaine Gabbert-to-Jeremy Kerley connection got the 49ers on the move. Completions of 13 yards, 17 yards and 24 yards moved the offense into the red zone. Three plays later, Gabbert found Kerley for a fourth time on the drive, this time for a 9-yard touchdown midway through the second quarter. Kerley was wide open on a quick out route from the left slot. The veteran pass-catcher hauled in eight receptions for 102 yards and one touchdown.

Even in the opening quarter, San Francisco had chances at a few big plays early but couldn't connect. Gabbert missed an open Garrett Celek on the 49ers first play from scrimmage up the left seam. Celek then dropped a would-be first down reception on San Francisco's next reception. On the 49ers third drive of the first quarter, Gabbert misfired on a deep throw to Rod Streater, who was open down the middle of the field on a post route.

The offense failed to convert on all three third-down attempts in the first quarter and were limited to three first downs.

Gabbert finished with 162 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions through the air.

Turnovers Lead to 17 Cardinals Points

San Francisco's defense nearly pitched a shutout in the first half. Gabbert had a third-down throw tipped at the line of scrimmage by Chandler Jones and intercepted by Calais Campbell. On the very next play, Drew Stanton found a wide-open Larry Fitzgerald for a 21-yard touchdown late in the second quarter. 

Still, the numbers were still impressive through 30 minutes of play. San Francisco held Arizona's offense to seven first downs and 1-of-8 on third down.

The 49ers special teams spotted Arizona seven more points to begin the third quarter. Chris Davis fumbled the opening kick of the second half. San Francisco initially got a stop, but a running into the kicker penalty gave the Cardinals a fresh set of downs. David Johnson promptly found the end zone on a 4-yard run on the next play.

Gabbert's second interception of the game led to an Arizona field goal to begin the fourth quarter. That put the Cardinals up 24-14.

San Francisco's trio of turnovers led to 17 points for the opposition. There's your story of the game. It's the second time in as many weeks that San Francisco couldn't hang onto its first-half lead.

Running Game Powers 49ers Second TD Drive

Pierre Garçon now has a touchdown in three consecutive games for the first time in his career. His 1-yard run in the third quarter got the 49ers within one score, 21-14. Hyde's six touchdowns on the season are also tied for the most in the NFL.

On the same possession, Gabbert ran the ball twice for 35 yards. The second carry, a 24-yard scramble up the middle of the field, got San Francisco to Arizona's 14-yard line.

Hyde finished the game with 22 carries for 78 yards and the score. The running back added six receptions for 36 yards. Gabbert finished with 70 yards on 10 carries and one touchdown.

Niner Nuggets

-- Rashard Robinson recorded a PBU in the first half.

-- Michael Wilhoite and Nick Bellore split a sack in the second quarter which marked the first .5 sack of their respective careers. Tonight was also Bellore's first NFL start as he filled in for NaVorro Bowman. The linebacker led the 49ers defense with nine tackles.

-- Kerley's second-quarter touchdown gave the slot receiver scores in two consecutive games. This is the first time in Kerley's career that he's found the end zone in back-to-back contests.

-- Fitzgerald added a second score in the third quarter, a 29-yard reception down the right sideline. The future Hall-of-Famer caught six passes for 81 yards and the two scores in the game.

-- Johnson finished the contest with 27 carries for 157 yards and two touchdowns. The second-year running back also caught three passes for 28 yards. The 49ers have now allowed 100-yard rushers in four consecutive games since bottling up Todd Gurley in Week 1.

-- Gabbert scored his second rushing touchdown of the season on a 1-yard run late in the fourth quarter.

-- San Francisco converted on just 4-of-14 third-down attempts for the game.

-- Joshua Garnett got his first aciton with the first-team offense this season. The first-round pick played in the fourth quarter and was on the field for the 49ers final touchdown of the night.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Advertising