Peterson carries heavy load in Cards 20-10 win over 49ersPosted: Updated:
By JOSH DUBOW, AP Pro Football Writer
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) -- Coach Bruce Arians kept asking 32-year-old Adrian Peterson if he needed a breather, only to be told no for most of the day.
Peterson kept carrying the ball more than anyone his age ever had with 37 rushes for 159 yards to lead the Arizona Cardinals to a 20-10 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
Arians joked after the game that was wasn't worried about the workload because "the ball's not very heavy." But even Arians knows he will have a hard time relying this much on Peterson every week, especially with only three days off before the Cardinals (4-4) host Seattle on Thursday night.
"He's amazing, absolutely amazing," Arians said. "He wouldn't come out. I tried to get Kerwynn (Williams) in and he said, 'I'm good, I'm good.' He's in unbelievable shape. We'll see how he feels Monday and Tuesday. I wish we had a full week. Obviously, we won't be able to feed him that many times on Thursday night."
Peterson had 10 more carries in his third game with the Cardinals than he had his first four weeks combined with New Orleans. He posted the most carries ever for a player in his 30s and topped the 100-yard mark for the second time since being acquired in a trade last month.
"That's the mindset I've always had since I came into the league," Peterson said. "I'm going to wear those guys down and see if they can do it for four quarters. That's something they have to question themselves when it comes to the fourth quarter and I'm still coming in there."
The 49ers (0-9) had no answer for Peterson and extended the worst start in franchise history.
Here are some other takeaways from the game:
GAROPPOLO WAITS: Jimmy Garoppolo was mostly a spectator in his first game with the 49ers. Acquired earlier in the week from New England to be the quarterback of the future, Garoppolo wasn't ready to play as he acclimates himself to the offense. He took part in pregame warmups and dressed as C.J. Beathard's backup in the game. He listened to the play calls, checked out pictures on the tablet and even threw some warmup passes on the sideline but didn't play.
"I'd love to get Jimmy in eventually, but a lot of stuff is going to go into that factor," coach Kyle Shanahan said. "Hopefully we can get healthy and hopefully we can give Jimmy a chance to pick this stuff up as he goes."
DREW'S DAY: While Peterson carried most of the load for Arizona, Drew Stanton delivered two TD passes in the first half in his first start this season in place of the injured Carson Palmer. He hit Jaron Brown on a 3-yard score in the first quarter and Jermaine Gresham on an 11-yarder in the second. Stanton finished 15 for 30 for 201 yards and also had an interception.
"He was really good at extending plays," receiver Larry Fitzgerald said. "He made some really good throws down the field for us and had great command of the system all day."
BATTERED BEATHARD: Beathard took another beating while playing behind a patchwork line missing left tackle Joe Staley. He was sacked five times and hit 16 overall on his 51 passes. He also took another hard hit while scrambling, when safety Antoine Bethea hit him as he slid, drawing a penalty. The hit set off a scuffle that led to Arizona's Frostee Rucker and Haason Reddick, and 49ers running back Carlos Hyde all getting ejected as the Niners took exception.
"That's awesome," Beathard said. "They had my back, and I knew they would. Guys like Carlos, he got ejected. But it shows that he got my back. And I really appreciate that. And all the other guys that went at it as well."
[SPORTS SECTION: Cardinals]
EXCLUSIVE CLUB: Karlos Dansby took advantage of a fortunate bounce to join an exclusive club. With San Francisco driving in the fourth quarter, Beathard's pass deflected off left tackle Trent Brown's helmet and bounced directly to Dansby for his 20th career interception. Dansby joined Brian Urlacher, Ray Lewis, Wilber Marshall and Seth Joyner as the only players with at least 20 INTs and 40 sacks in a career.
COSTLY INJURY: The 49ers lost another safety to a broken arm. A week after Jimmie Ward was sent to injured reserve when he got hurt in Philadelphia, Jaquiski Tartt broke his arm against the Cardinals. Ward's injury forced former starter Eric Reid to move back to safety after a short stint as a linebacker. The injury to Tartt forced rookie Adrian Colbert to play in the base defense.
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