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The Arizona Cardinals continued their strong start to the season with a 17-10 win against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 5. It wasn’t the prettiest of wins, as the Cardinals had some bad luck along the road, but they were able to keep their perfect record intact. This victory will undoubtedly bolster their confidence as they prepare for a crucial Week 6 game against the Cleveland Browns, but first, let’s take a look at some of the Cardinals’ Week 5 takeaways.
Takeaways from the Cardinals’ Week 5 victory against the 49ers
3. The depth of the Cardinals was put to the test.
Arizona was without starting cornerback Byron Murphy, who was just declared out with a rib ailment, for Week 5. Another rookie CB, Marco Wilson, was labeled as doubtful before to kickoff because of a similar injury.
In the first half of the game, linebacker Isaiah Simmons went to the locker room with an apparent concussion, but he later returned to the field. Meanwhile, tight end Maxx Williams was carried away after sustaining a severe knee injury that may force him to miss the whole 2021 season. After leaving the field with a rib injury on Sunday, center Rodney Hudson was the final name on the list of injured players.
Due to a lack of starters, the Cardinals were forced to depend on certain backups, who stepped up and made significant contributions to the club. Because of those players’ prolonged absences, the Cardinals’ second unit will get increased playing time, and they’ll need to be at their best if they want to win their remaining games.
2. Arizona’s defense performed well.
In Week 5, the Cardinals’ defense stood up, holding the 49ers’ offense to 10 points and making key late-game stops. J.J. Watt, a veteran defensive end, has yet to record a sack for his new club, but he had a strong day with three tackles, three quarterback hits, and a pass deflection.
Zach Allen, a fellow pass rusher, also had an impact against Trey Lance with five tackles, a quarterback hit, and a sack. Watt and Allen are expected to step up with a weakened defensive unit, as the club will continue to rely on their performance in the weeks ahead.
1. The Kyler Murray-DeAndre Hopkins symbiosis is still lethal.
Week 5 versus the 49ers wasn’t the greatest game for Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, who had a strong start to the 2021 season. He was sacked twice on Sunday and failed to lead the club to more than 30 points for the first time this season.
The Pro Bowler, on the other hand, did just enough to lead them to victory, thanks to his connection with standout receiver DeAndre Hopkins. The two players connected on a 30-yard pass play in the fourth quarter to get them into the red zone. Following that, Hopkins grabbed a touchdown pass from Murray to increase their advantage to ten points before the game was called with a 17-10 victory.
Late in the game, the veteran receiver used his receiving skills to keep San Francisco from getting another possession. Hopkins had 87 yards on six receptions and a score, while Murray had 239 yards on 22-of-31 passing attempts and a passing touchdown.
Yes, the Cardinals had a sloppy game against a tenacious 49ers team, as they were without many important players. The Cardinals, on the other hand, relied on the performance of its star players to secure a vital win in Week 5. At the end of the day, a victory is a win, and it was just enough to keep their unblemished record intact and extend their record to 5-0 to begin the season.