49ers impress Mexico ‘home crowd’ by dominating Cardinals

Brandon Aiyuk #11 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Brandon Aiyuk #11 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

10. 32. Final. 38. 42

The 49ers may have been the road team in Mexico City, but the home crowd at Estadio Azteca was treated to a Niners domination of the Cardinals.

It was clear early on the San Francisco 49ers were going to have a sizable advantage over the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football from Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, Mexico, as an estimated 82 percent of fans in attendance would be rooting for the Niners.

When the Cardinals, the recorded “home team for the game, were literally booed on the field during opening introductions, that number in favor of San Francisco might as well have been 95 percent.

That was only one major advantage, and head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad rode a number of other plusses to a commanding 38-10 victory in prime time to improve to 6-4 on the year, seizing first place in the NFC West as a result.

Sure, it helped that the Cardinals had to start backup quarterback Colt McCoy with Kyler Murray out because of a hamstring injury, and Arizona’s lone legitimate threat was All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

Yet the multitude of ways Shanahan countered with all of his offensive weapons was simply unfair.

Especially when weapons like tight end George Kittle, wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, running back Christian McCaffrey and wide receiver Deebo Samuel were dominating the action, prompting the fans in attendance to erupt in quite the ovation.

49ers offensive stars shine vs. Cardinals from Mexico City

Pick one of those aforementioned names on offense, and chances are, they had a tremendous game.

Seriously, just look at the stats for each:

  • Christian McCaffrey: 106 all-purpose yards
  • Deebo Samuel: 94 all-purpose yards, one touchdown
  • Brandon Aiyuk: 20 receiving yards, two touchdowns
  • George Kittle: 84 receiving yards, two touchdowns

After a modestly slowish start at the very beginning of the game, the 49ers’ vast array of offensive weapons finally overpowered everything the Cardinals could respond with on defense, and it was clear the altitude at Estadio Azteca began to take a toll on Arizona.

However, what might have been far more entertaining from the Niners’ vantage point was watching Samuel’s 39-yard end-around rushing touchdown that was perfectly indicative of his 2021-like “wide back” role:

Related Story: WATCH: Deebo Samuel scores beauty of a TD in 49ers rout of Cardinals

Tack on both Kittle and Aiyuk having multi-touchdown games, and Monday night almost felt like a Madden game on easy mode for San Francisco.

Jimmy Garoppolo thrives in 49ers win vs. Cardinals

Arizona’s defense was almost the polar opposite of what the 49ers faced a week ago with the Los Angeles Chargers in that the Cardinals can actually defend the run but are wholly bad against the pass, particularly with giving up yards after the catch.

That meant quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo would have to shoulder a bigger load, especially early on when Arizona’s defense was fresher and could defend against the run better.

Sure, Garoppolo had a couple of near misses and the occasional “hospital ball,” yet he avoided the large-scale mistakes in a fashion similar to what he’s done almost all year, and the game stats Jimmy G posted were quite exemplary.

A cool 20-of-29 line passing for 228 yards, four touchdowns (tying a career-high) against no interceptions, all for a 131.9 passer rating.

Not bad at all for the Niners’ signal-caller, and he sure helped pad the stats of some of his best weapons before Shanahan finally pulled him in favor of the rookie, Brock Purdy.

Yes, that kind of domination. And one San Francisco can feel good about as it returns home from a “home crowd” south of the border that was certainly entertained by the 49ers’ lopsided victory.

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