The San Francisco 49ers have defeated the Arizona Cardinals 38-13. Though the first quarter began rough, the top 49ers’ players stepped up and brought out a win. The 49ers have now won ten games in a row, and have officially clinched the second seed in the NFC Playoffs. This win also means that San Francisco has swept the entire NFC West this year, which is for the first time since 1997. Here is a look at the top 49ers players in the big win over the Cardinals.
Top 49ers: Elijah Mitchell
Runningback Elijah Mitchell has just returned from injured reserve and was still one of the top 49ers players in his first game back. No one was sure how many snaps Mitchell would get, but it was known he would play. Runningback Christian McCaffrey also had a great game, and a lot of credit needs to go there, but Mitchell made sure people knew he was back.
The 49ers clinched the NFC West three weeks ago but still had to fight for higher seeding. The goal was to score enough that they could rest starters to avoid injury ahead of playoffs. The team also wanted to make sure players who have been out, such as Mitchell and Deebo Samuel got some reps. Both those goals worked out well for the 49ers.
In just five carries, Mitchell ran for 55 yards, averaging 11 yards per carry, according to ESPN. Mitchell also rushed for two touchdowns. Surprisingly, this game was the first one of the season that Mitchell scored a rushing touchdown. It is safe to say Mitchell was one of the top 49ers players this game, and he returned from injury at the perfect job.
Top 49ers: Tashaun Gipson
Once again safety Tashaun Gipson came in clutch for this 49ers defense. This top 49ers’ defense started off rusty, but once again did not allow their opponent to score in the second half of the game. Although when it comes to his number of tackles it may not seem so, Gipson was one of the top 49ers players of the game.
According to ESPN, Gipson only had two total tackles, and only one of them was solo. Where he really stood out was that Gipson caught two interceptions and went for 35 yards. This is Gipson’s second game in a row catching an interception, after forcing a big one last week that led to a San Francisco win. Gipson has truly shown he was worth picking up and has been a top 49ers player for the past two weeks. It will be exciting to see what more he can do during the playoffs.
Top 49ers: Brock Purdy
Quarterback Brock Purdy had a slow start in this game. That led to a small debate on if he should be considered one of the top 49ers players in this game. But it was how he calmed down and stayed poised that led him to be one of the top 49ers players. Getting sacked early in the game definitely had an impact on him, but in the end, he got it together and San Francisco got the win.
Against the Cardinals, Purdy completed 15 out of 20 passes for 178 yards, according to ESPN. Even better was that he averaged 8.9 yards per attempt, and threw three touchdown passes. It is also important to note that with the 49ers up 38-13 by the end of the third quarter, the rookie quarterback did not play in the fourth quarter. Purdy was sacked four times during the game, but heading into playoffs, seeing the young quarterback get out of his head and play good football is a great sign for this 49ers team.
Top 49ers Players Who Need to be Mentioned
There were other players that deserve to get recognition as top 49ers players, as multiple players scored touchdowns. Tight end George Kittle caught two touchdown passes, and made a key block that caused Mitchell to score one of his touchdowns. Kittle has done very well since Purdy came into action and should definitely be acknowledged.
McCaffrey also played very well for being another key player pulled early. McCaffrey only had one touchdown, but according to ESPN, he rushed for 45 yards from ten carries and had three receptions for 34 yards as well.
The San Francisco 49ers are on their way to playoffs as the second seed in the NFC. They will be playing either the Seattle Seahawks or the Greenbay Packers at Levis Stadium. Be sure to watch for these top 49ers players in their playoff push next weekend.
For More NFL and NCAA Content:
Check out my most recent article on where defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans will coach in the 2023 season. Also, check out my article on the upcoming 49ers game. Be sure to check out these two 49ers’ articles on the standout players against the Raiders, and why their close game is not a bad thing. Also, check out this week’s Underestimated Player Spotlight.
Check out this article on the Top 5 Rutgers games of the 2022 season. Check out my article on the 2023 Rose Bowl.
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