Garoppolo throws for 4 TDs, 49ers top Cards in Mexico City

Nov 21, 2022, 11:43 PM | Updated: Nov 22, 2022, 2:50 pm
San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the second ...

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022, in Mexico City. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — As the final minute ticked off the clock, San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo turned toward the crowd at Estadio Azteca, lifted his hands over his head and started clapping.

It was clear that the Mexico City crowd loved the 49ers.

Jimmy G and the 49ers gave that love — and some really good football — right back.

Garoppolo threw four touchdown passes, including two each to Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle, and the 49ers won their third straight game by blowing past the Arizona Cardinals 38-10 on Monday night in Mexico City.

“The whole atmosphere tonight, I haven’t played in anything like it,” Garoppolo said. “It was electric, the fans were nuts, they were cheering throughout the whole game. It seemed like a soccer game at some points, just the passion they brought. It was really cool. I’d love to do it again.”

It was the fifth regular-season NFL game played in Mexico City and first since 2019. Technically a Cardinals home game, the festive, raucous announced crowd of 78,427 fans heavily favored the 49ers, roaring particularly loud when Kittle and Deebo Samuel each scored on 39-yard touchdowns.

“Man, I love San Francisco, but if we can’t be there, I love to be here,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “This place is awesome. That was one of the coolest experiences I’ve been a part of.”

San Francisco (6-4) has won five of its past seven and is tied with the Seahawks at the top of the NFC West. Garoppolo had another efficient performance, completing 20 of 29 passes for 228 yards.

It was a tight game through much of the first half, but the 49ers pulled away in the second half, jumping ahead 24-10 early in the third quarter on a nifty end-around play. Samuel took the pitch and sprinted 39 yards, weaving through the Cardinals defense on his way to the end zone.

“It was really one of those pick your poison type of nights,” Garoppolo said. “They tried to take away the run, so we passed it, and then vice versa. It was a good night.”

It capped a powerful eight-play San Francisco drive that included seven run plays. Aiyuk’s second touchdown catch of the night — this one from 14 yards out — put the 49ers up 31-10 later in the third.

“I hope we made a good impression,” 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa said.

The Cardinals (4-7) played their second straight game without Pro Bowl quarterback Kyler Murray, who has been battling a sore hamstring. Backup Colt McCoy had a 3-1 record in spot starts over the past two seasons — including a win over the Rams last week — but couldn’t recreate the same magic in Mexico.

McCoy finished 24 of 34 passing for 218 yards and an interception. The 49ers hit him hard multiple times, connecting for three sacks.

“It’s just a bummer we didn’t find a way to win that game,” McCoy said. “But San Francisco played hard. They’re a good football team, and we just didn’t make enough plays. But for the crowd, for the atmosphere, being able to play internationally in Mexico City, I thought it was fantastic.”

The 49ers took a 17-10 into the halftime break after Robbie Gould connected on a 39-yard field goal with 43 seconds remaining the second quarter. It capped a back-and-forth first half that saw the teams gain almost identical amounts of yardage: The 49ers had a 186-185 advantage.

The Cardinals pushed ahead 3-0 midway through the first quarter on Matt Prater’s 40-yard field goal as both teams dealt with a steady rain that started around kickoff and continued through much of the first half.

The 49ers responded early in the second when Garoppolo hit Aiyuk over the middle for a 7-yard touchdown, capping a nine-play, 82-yard drive. San Francisco intercepted McCoy on the ensuing drive after a pass bounced off James Conner’s hand and was snatched out of the air by Jimmie Ward.

San Francisco capitalized three plays later when Garoppolo evaded pressure and lofted a pass to Kittle, who juked two Arizona defenders and then cruised into the end zone for a 39-yard touchdown and a 14-3 lead.

The cavernous Estadio Azteca — which is home to two of Mexico’s top soccer teams — sits at an altitude of about 7,200 feet, which is much higher than both San Francisco and Phoenix. The 49ers opted to train at altitude this week in Colorado, while the Cardinals decided to stay at their home practice facility in Tempe, Arizona.

Arizona’s defense looked gassed in the second half, missing several tackles as the game slowly got out of hand.

“That was a really good team,” Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “We knew we had to play as good as we’ve played all year. And I thought they played really physical in that second half and found a way to make plays.”

BACK IN MEXICO

The teams met in Mexico City a little more than 17 years after they played in the first regular-season NFL game played in a country outside the U.S. The Cardinals beat the 49ers 31-14 on Oct. 3, 2005, in front of 103,467 fans. The stadium’s capacity has been reduced since that time for NFL games.

There have been three other regular-season games played in Mexico before Monday — all at Estadio Azteca. The Raiders beat the Texans 27-20 in 2016, the Patriots beat the Raiders 33-8 in 2017 and the Chiefs beat the Chargers 24-17 in 2019.

INJURIES

49ers: DE Arik Armstead (foot/ankle) was listed as inactive.

Cardinals: In addition to Murray, the Cardinals had three other starters listed as inactive, including CB Byron Murphy Jr. (back), OT D.J. Humphries (back) and TE Zach Ertz (knee). Ertz is out for the season. … WR Rondale Moore (groin) left in the first quarter and didn’t return.

UP NEXT

49ers: Host the Saints on Sunday.

Cardinals: Host the Chargers on Sunday.

___

AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


              San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022, in Mexico City.(AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
            
              San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo reacts after tight end George Kittle scored a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022, in Mexico City. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
            
              Arizona Cardinals offensive lineman Will Hernandez waves the flag of Mexico before an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022, in Mexico City. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
            
              San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11) makes a touchdown catch as Arizona Cardinals cornerback Trayvon Mullen, below, defends during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Nov. 21, 2022, in Mexico City. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
            
              A San Francisco 49ers fan looks on before an NFL football game between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers Monday, Nov. 21, 2022, in Mexico City. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
            
              Arizona Cardinals offensive lineman Will Hernandez waves the flag of Mexico before an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022, in Mexico City. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
            
              Arizona Cardinals quarterback Colt McCoy throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022, in Mexico City. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
            
              Arizona Cardinals running back James Conner, right, runs with the ball as San Francisco 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw defends during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Nov. 21, 2022, in Mexico City. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
            
              San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle, right, gets past Arizona Cardinals cornerback Marco Wilson (20) and safety Budda Baker, on his way to scoring a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Nov. 21, 2022, in Mexico City. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
            
              Flags for Mexico and the United States are seen on the field before an NFL football game between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers Monday, Nov. 21, 2022, in Mexico City. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
            
              San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022, in Mexico City. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
            
              San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022, in Mexico City. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

AP

Associated Press

Qatar Airways, Airbus reach settlement in A350 legal case

LONDON (AP) — Qatar Airways and Airbus have reached a settlement in a longstanding legal dispute over the safety of the A350 jetliner and billions of orders for other planes. The companies said in a joint statement Wednesday that the settlement was “amicable and mutually agreeable.” “A repair project is now underway and both parties […]
13 hours ago
FILE - A Rivian logo is shown on one of the company's electric pickup trucks, Dec. 15, 2021, in Atl...
Associated Press

FedEx, Rivian, DraftKings join US companies cutting jobs

FedEx, Rivian Automotive, and DraftKings have joined a growing list of U.S. corporations announcing job cuts. FedEx sent an announcement to employees Wednesday informing them that the package delivery company is reducing the size of its officer and director team by more than 10% and consolidating some teams and functions. “Unfortunately, this was a necessary […]
13 hours ago
FILE - Boxes of the drug mifepristone sit on a shelf at the West Alabama Women's Center in Tuscaloo...
Associated Press

20 attorneys general warn Walgreens, CVS over abortion pills

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Attorneys general in 20 conservative-led states warned CVS and Walgreens on Wednesday that they could face legal consequences if they sell abortion pills by mail in those states. A letter from Republican Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey to the nation’s largest pharmacy-dispensing companies was co-signed by 19 other attorneys general, warning […]
13 hours ago
Apple senior vice president of services Eddy Cue, right, speaks next to Major League Soccer Commiss...
Associated Press

Apple embraces potential of sports streaming with MLS deal

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — After taking its first dip into sports streaming last year, Apple is now immersing itself. The tech giant kicked off a 10-year partnership with Major League Soccer on Wednesday with the launch of Season Pass on Apple TV+. “This is very important for us. It is one of the key things […]
13 hours ago
FILE - Zoubin Ghahramani, vice president of research at Google, speaks at the Google AI@ event on W...
Associated Press

Google has the next move as Microsoft embraces OpenAI buzz

NEW YORK (AP) — Before the artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT was unleashed into the world, the novelist Robin Sloan was testing a similar AI writing assistant built by researchers at Google. It didn’t take long for Sloan, author of the bestseller “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore,” to realize that the technology was of little use to […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

Ukraine hails French gift of radar as ‘cherry on the cake’

LIMOURS, France (AP) — Ukraine’s defense minister said Wednesday that Ukrainian lives will be saved by a sophisticated air-defense radar that France is supplying and which is powerful enough to spot incoming missiles and exploding drones in the skies over all of Ukraine’s capital and its surrounding region. The minister, Oleksii Reznikov, was so enthusiastic […]
13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Company looking for oldest air conditioner and wants to reward homeowner with new one

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.
(Pexels Photo)...

Sports gambling can be fun for adults, but it’s a dangerous game for children

While adults may find that sports gambling is a way to enhance the experience with more than just fandom on the line, it can be a dangerous proposition if children get involved in the activity.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
Garoppolo throws for 4 TDs, 49ers top Cards in Mexico City