49ers struggling vs. DeAndre Hopkins but handle Cardinals

DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Arizona Cardinals makes a catch over Charvarius Ward #7 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Arizona Cardinals makes a catch over Charvarius Ward #7 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

The 49ers have had issues with Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins over the first half of Monday Night Football, but he’s been the only Arizona threat.

The San Francisco 49ers knew they had to deal with one major threat from the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football in Mexico City in Week 11: All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury was already down his starting quarterback, Kyler Murray, who was out with a hamstring injury. And No. 2 wideout Marquise Brown was also ruled out of the primetime game south of the border because of an injury, too.

That left Hopkins as the primary weapon the Niners would have to worry about, yet he still proved to be a menace to defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans over the first two quarters.

Arizona took the lead, primarily because of Hopkins’ efforts, as he had two 17-yard catches that helped set up the Cardinals’ first score, a field goal.

Halfway into the second quarter and despite Hopkins being flagged for a taunting penalty, Arizona’s top offensive weapon still managed to record 77 yards on seven catches before reaching eight minutes before halftime.

San Francisco had a scare early in the game, though, when No. 1 cornerback Charvarius Ward missed some time with a groin injury but was able to return after missing a few plays.

Ryans had moved Ward over to the opposite side of the field to primarily cover Hopkins.

49ers having little trouble vs. Cardinals other weapons

One might call the Cardinals’ efforts so far on Monday Night Football, “The DeAndre Hopkins Show” and nothing else.

Halfway through the second quarter, Arizona had mustered only 18 rush yards and averaged only 1.5 yards per carry, many of the Cardinals’ opening plays generating negative yards as a result, and the 49ers got up to five tackles for a net loss of 10 yards by that same point.

Read More: 49ers vs. Cardinals: Monday Night Football odds, injuries and how to watch

Despite backup quarterback Colt McCoy doing his best to get the ball out quickly, Kingsbury’s offense still managed to outgain the Niners 186 yards to 132 by that halfway point of the second quarter.

However, aside from Hopkins’ presence, wide receiver Greg Dortch’s 47-yard catch-and-run play was about the only other spark Arizona had.

San Francisco leads 14-10 late in the second quarter.

Next. 30 greatest players in 49ers franchise history. dark