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49ers vs. Cardinals: Jim Harbaugh showing a "Finish Him" mode

We break down an interesting stat about the 49ers margin of victory when they take an eight point lead into halftime.

Norm Hall

The San Francisco 49ers wrapped up a thoroughly dominating victory over the Arizona Cardinals, winning 24-3 in a game that really wasn't even quite so close. Although the 49ers only outscored the Cardinals 7-3 in the second half, it continued a pattern of generally putting away teams.

I was talking to Florida Danny and he threw out the stat that in ten games where the 49ers have led by eight or more points at halftime, they have generally taken care of business in the second half. In those games, the average score at the half has apparently been 15.1 to 2.6. The average final score has been 31.2-10.0.

The 49ers did not have quite that expansion of their lead, but the defense definitely stepped on the Cardinals. The 49ers took a 17-0 lead into the third quarter and the defense clamped down on Arizona. There were some stretches where the Cardinals started to pick up yards, but generally speaking the defense stopped them. This was highlighted at the end of the game. The Cardinals were driving deep into 49ers territory, but the defense stiffened up and stopped the Cardinals just short of the end zone. No garbage touchdowns for you!

This is obviously a very small sample size and doesn't tell us everything we need to know. Nonetheless, some kind of killer instinct is welcome. The 49ers are developing that and will hopefully build on it moving forward.