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Cardinals pick off Kaepernick four times in blowout

The undefeated Arizona Cardinals are on a roll and creating some distance in the NFC West after a 47-7 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. Here's what we learned:

  1. Colin Kaepernick set the wrong kind of record. He threw two pick sixes in the first 5:57 of game, the fastest any quarterback has imploded like that since 1925. (That's how far our records go back.) At one point after halftime, he had five completions and four interceptions. His offensive line was slow to recognize blitzes again and Kaepernick was late on a lot of throws. Arizona's boffo secondary, led by Tyrann Mathieu (two picks), deserve a lot of credit for jumping all over him.
  1. Chris Johnson running decisively shows how well this Cardinals offense is humming. It's one of the upsets of the season. He finished with 150 yards from scrimmage and made people miss in the open field, looking far better than he did the last few seasons.
  1. Larry Fitzgerald was never gone, but it's fun to see him dominating like this again with Carson Palmer back on the field. He is out-fighting opponents for passes and bouncing off them after the catch. Fitz finished with 134 yards and two scores, the second straight week he's gone over 100 yards.
  1. Palmer continues to be handed big leads by his defense and special teams. And then he goes about ending games with authority. Palmer had spotless protection once again and was dealing vertical passes all day. He topped 300 yards on only 31 attempts. Aside from an ugly interception late in the first half, Palmer's start to the season has been virtually perfect. He's playing like a top-five quarterback.
  1. Now 1-2, San Francisco's opening night win feels like a distant memory. The 49ers haven't been able to pressure the passer or cover anyone in back-to-back weeks. It's hard to evaluate a game in which Kaepernick lights it on fire so quickly, but it's a concern that they can't solve their protection problems. The word is out: Blitz Kaepernick like crazy.
  1. Last week, the 49ers actually outgained Pittsburgh while getting drubbed. This time, the Cardinals outgained San Francisco 446-155. It was a full scale beatdown. The 49ers are staring at 1-3 unless they can upset the Packers.
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