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RECAP: Shorthanded Arizona Cardinals still cruise past San Francisco 49ers

November 7, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk (13) catches the football against San Francisco 49ers safety Talanoa Hufanga (29) during the first quarter at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
November 7, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk (13) catches the football against San Francisco 49ers safety Talanoa Hufanga (29) during the first quarter at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

James Conner ran for 96 yards and two scores and had five receptions for 77 yards and another touchdown, and the Arizona Cardinals beat the San Francisco 49ers 31-17 in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday.

Colt McCoy was 22-of-26 passing for 249 yards and a touchdown in replace of the injured Kyler Murray and Eno Benjamin ran for a TD for Arizona (8-1).

In addition to Murray being sidelined with an ankle injury, the Cardinals played without wide receivers DeAndre Hopkins (hamstring) and A.J. Green (COVID-19).

Jimmy Garoppolo was 28-for-40 passing for 326 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, George Kittle had six catches for 101 yards and a score in his return and Brandon Aiyuk had a TD catch for the 49ers (3-5).

The Cardinals took a 7-0 lead on Conner’s 13-yard touchdown run with 6:08 left in the first quarter.

On their next possession McCoy directed an 80-yard drive, capped by another Conner TD run, this one from a yard out to make it 14-0.

The 49ers drove deep into the Cardinals’ territory, but Aiyuk fumbled at the 13 and Arizona recovered. The Cardinals used 14 plays to move to the San Francisco 8 before settling for a 26-yard field goal.

The 49ers finally broke through just before the half when Garoppolo hit Kittle on a six-yard TD pass to cut it to 17-7 at intermission.

Arizona came right back on the first drive of the second half to go ahead 24-7 on Conner’s 45-yard TD catch.

The Cardinals forced a San Francisco punt on the ensuing drive and then struck again on their next possession, this time on Benjamin’s 21-yard TD run that made it 31-7.

The 49ers answered on their next possession, going 75 yards on six plays, finishing it off with Garoppolo’s 11-yard TD pass to Aiyuk with 4:56 left in the third.

Two drives later Robbie Gould kicked a 26-yard field goal to make it a two-touchdown game with 8:26 left.

San Francisco’s hope for a comeback ended when Budda Baker intercepted Garoppolo with 3:03 left to seal the win.

–Field Level Media