Yes, it was not the kind of embarrassingly lopsided victory over Tampa Bay that would have many other teams squirming, although the Cardinals nonetheless took care of business last night out in Santa Clara.
In a game that was not as close as the score would indicate, the Cardinals got past numerous problems that have plagued them so far this season, including injuries to starting quarterback Carson Palmer. They played efficient football, and were able to notch their first road win of the season, and only their second win of the season to date.
This was a much needed win, and a confidence booster, for an Arizona team that ranked among the favorites to reach the Super Bowl in the preseason, although things have been rough for them so far this season. Like San Francisco, they entered this contest with a surprisingly meager 1-3 record, quickly falling two games behind both the Rams and the Seahawks in the NFC West division.
However, the Cardinals might have righted the ship a bit with last night's win, which ended the bleeding and puts the Cardinals back into contention, where almost everyone expected them to be in the first place. The offense was explosive, and the defense was solid, showing glimpses of what they were expected to be this season to begin with.
As for San Francisco, their struggles continue. Following a convincing home victory against the Rams to open up the season, the 49ers have now dropped four straight. Three of the losses have been blowouts, including last night's loss to Arizona. They already are facing a rather predictable quarterback controversy, and the overall play has been lousy. This team has seen one of the quickest declines in recent NFL history, seeing the talent that had them competing at the highest levels only a few seasons ago, and dropping them into consistent cellar dwellers.