*CARDINALS 31, 49ERS 17: The Cardinals took the “next man up” to a “next men up” level. They dominated from start to finish without the injured Kyler Murray and Deandre Hopkins (inactive) plus A.J. Green and assistant coaches Jeff Rodgers, James Saxon and Brian Natkin (positive COVID tests) … In addition, the Cardinals lost Chase Edmonds and Justin Pugh (injuries) during the first two offensive possessions.
*STEVE KEIM HAD ONE OF HIS BEST DAYS AS A GENERAL MANAGER, starting with veteran quarterback Colt McCoy who displayed impressive efficiency – 22 of 26 (84.6 percent) for 249 yards with one touchdown with zero turnovers.
*JAMES CONNER BECOME THE FULLTIME RUNNING BACK: Conner did it all from running (21 times for 96 yards) and filling the Edmonds receiving rule (five catches for another 77 yards and another touchdown on a career best 55-yard reception. Conner leads the NFL with 11 touchdowns.
*CHRISTIAN KIRK BECOME THE NUMBER TOP RECEIVER OPTION: He finished with six receptions for 91 yards.
*THE OFFENSIVE LINE HAD A MUCH DIFFERENT LOOK AND WAS HIGHLY EFFECTIVE: Most importantly, top shelf center Rodney Hudson returned from after missing three games because of injury. Hudson’s return allowed offensive line coach Sean Kugler to move Max Garcia from center to right guard for Josh Jones who had been overmatched much of the season. Pugh was replaced in the first quarter by Sean Harlow who appeared to hold his own.
*DON’T FORGET THE DEFENSE: It appeared that Vance Joseph seemed to blitz less and play more zone to frequently confuse Jimmy Garoppolo and reduce the effectiveness of Kyle Shanahan’s crossing route/quick hitting passing offense.