49ers penalties an issue in big win

Norm Hall

We break down some of the issues the 49ers had in terms of discipline and penalties.

The 49ers emerged with a fairly dominating 24-3 victory over the Arizona Cardinals, and really the score does not tell the whole story. The 49ers left some points on the board thanks to some bad penalties stalling out drives. The 49ers overcame a lot of this, but as we saw, the team finds the most success when they get into 2nd and 4 or 5 situations. When they're playing from 1st and 20 or 2nd and 15, bad things are going to happen. No team is built to play in those situations.

The 49ers opened the game with three straight runs that saw Frank Gore thoroughly gashing the Cardinals defensive front. Kendall Hunter then came on for a six-yard reception, but the play was called back because of an Alex Boone penalty. The 49ers were put into a 2nd and 14 situation, and the offense could not make things happen, setting up a punt three plays later.

The 49ers did start to clean things up after that, but they finished the game with ten penalties for 80 yards of lost yardage. The 49ers were fortunate enough to be playing a Cardinals team that struggled to do much of anything. These kinds of mental mistakes can be overcome against inferior teams, but when you start playing more comparable teams, it opens the door for problems.

Of course, as the picture above shows, the 49ers also benefited from plenty of Arizona penalties as the Cardinals committed seven for 51 yards. The game itself seemed to move along in a fairly stream-lined manner in spite of the penalties. Of course, it did seem like the Cardinals offensive line was doing a lot of holding against the 49ers. I don't know if it was called in the play pictured above, but there were definitely some instances where the 49ers were being held and it was not being called.

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