If you recall last time we tangoed with the Cardinals, we wound up kicking the ever-loving snot out of them. Then the opposite happened on game day. I don't need to bring up just how the offense gifted the team the game within 6 minutes either to have us all remember how bad that game was.
I doubt with the roster updates Madden will glitch out and give us a generous simulation this time. Let's see how we do with the birds come to our house.
Note: Carlos Hyde, Ahmad Brooks, Cory Redding, Frostee Rucker, and Deone Bucannon have been removed
The game began with the Cardinals receiving and quickly moving the ball down the field thanks to a few good Ellington rushes and a nice 30 yard Larry Fitsgerald pass. On the 4 yard line, the Cardinals let Andre Ellington punch the ball in and get the first score.
Score 7-0, Cardinals
The 49ers traded 3 and outs with Arizona and punted the ball once more on another 3 and out. Carson Palmer nailed Larry Fitsgerald 3 times with distances of 10, 16, and 30 yards and took the Cardinals back to the SF 1 yard line. A simple punch by Andre Ellington gave the Cardinals another 7 points.
Score 14-0, Cardinals
The 49ers got slapped with a holding penalty to start their next drive and then got a nice 7 yard gain from Shaun Draughn to close out the quarter.
The 49ers run offense was stuffed and Blaine Gabbert took an 8 yard loss to bring up another 3 and out. Fortunately, the 49ers came in with a sack of their own to push the cardinals into 2nd and 15. From there, Carson Palmer was intercepted by Kenneth Acker, giving the 49ers excellent field position on the Cardinals 47 yard line.
The 49ers, however, could not capitolize and went another 3 plays of merely 8 yards doing nothing, and Phil Dawson missing a 50 yard field goal. So essentially, the Cardinals just got slightly delayed and got the ball back.
Carson Palmer was sacked again, this time by Navarro Bowman, to help the Cardinals only cross mid field and then punt the ball away.
Blaine Gabbert had a nice 20 yard rush, and then the running backs chipped away another 8 yards before the 49ers punted (again). Pinion hit a nice ball, getting it right on the Arizona 2 yard line. While the Cardinals managed to press out of the endzone, a holding penalty stunted their second set of downs and forced them to punt back to the 49ers.
With 18 seconds left, the 49ers tried a few deep balls and then the clock ran out.
The Niners received and the offense was flagged on 1st and 10 for holding, which basically stopped anything from happening on this drive. The Niners punted away and the Cardinals did a balanced drive between Chris Johnson, Andre Ellington and Michael Floyd that ended on the 10 yard line and a field goal.
Score 17-0, Cardinals
Well guess how the 49ers responded: You guessed it, another punt. Carson Palmer threw a nice screen pass to Chris Johnson for 20 yards that gave the team momentum to rush the ball at 6 yards a clip and culminate in ANOTHER Andre Ellington TD.
Score 24-0, Cardinals
The Cardinals kicked the ball off and the 49ers prepared for another 3 and out to end the quarter.
You guys are not going to believe this: In our simulation, Gabbert injured and benched in favor of Dylan Thompson. Thompson began with a couple of nice passes to Torrey Smith and Quinton Patton for 15 yards each and then nailed Vance McDonald for 15 yards. The 49ers kept dink and dunking away until arriving at the Arizona 4 yard line and having Thompson punch it in himself.We have avoided the shut out! Draughn also converted the 2 points.
The Cardinals received and did a questionable playcall with 4:10 left in the game: They threw it right into Navarro Bowman's hands on the 13 yard line. The terrific field position let the 49ers quickly run the ball down and send Bruce Miller in on 2nd and goal for the touchdown. Vance McDonald converted the 2 points to put us down one score. We have a ball game!
Score 24-16, Cardinals
The 49ers kicked off and the Cardinals offense went to work once more. Carson Palmer nailed Andre Ellington and Michael Floyd for 16 yards and 25 yards respectively, and was able to let the Cardinals walk off with a field goal. Well there goes my optimism.
Score 27-16, Cardinals
Dylan Thompson tried to rally the team once more but on 2nd and 10, he threw a pick right into Justin Bethel's hands. With 1:00 left to go, all Carson Palmer had to do was kneel.
Final Score 27-16, Cardinals
The 49ers were completely outmatched until Dylan Thompson brought life back into the offense. Obviously, this is in part to the fact the Cardinals have absolutely no game tape of him to study, nor were they prepared for the guy to enter the game. As bad as the offense was, 27-16 does seem pretty believable for a home game against the Cardinals. I don't think it will be near as ugly as it was when we traveled to Arizona this year, but we aren't going to be happy with how this game shakes out. Minus the Gabbert injury, I do see this as the way things are going.
But I can always hope I'm wrong.