The 49ers won the coin toss and elected to defer, as usual. They've yet to receive an opening kickoff. It goes through the endzone and John Skelton takes the field for Arizona, from an offset I-formation, and a pass to Andre Roberts is overthrown. Beanie Wells gets a short run, and then Carlos Rogers makes a great pass breakup on third down. Larry Fitzgerald was the target on third, and Rogers could have stopped him short with a tackle, but punched the ball out.
After a punt and penalty, the 49ers start at their own 19 yard line. Alex Smith throws incomplete to Braylon Edwards on first down, it was well defended. Frank Gore gets no yards on his first carry, and the 49ers faced an early third and ten. Smith took the snap, dropped back, had time, and found Micheal Crabtree deep on the left side for 38 yards. Gore gets three yards on the first down run, and the 49ers go with their first singleback formation. Edwards motions and runs across the middle of the field, Smith looks for him but the pass goes off his hands, incomplete. After a short run from Gore, it's Crabtree again, on the left side, converting the second third down.
San Francisco gets a couple yards, bringing up a 2nd and 6, but Bruce Miller is called for a false start and they set up with a 2nd and 11. Singleback formation, Smith drops back, and looks for either Delanie Walker or Edwards, but the pass is batted down at the line of scrimmage. Eventually, David Akers comes on for the 46-yard field goal attempt, but the Cardinals are able to take over at the 36-yard line, the spot of the kick, when Calais Campbell gets a hand up and blocks it. It was a line drive kick, something that Akers had been doing pregame to deal with the wind. Hurts them here.
Skelton comes back out and hands off from the I-formation, and Beanie Wells picks up eight yards. Then, on second down, Skelton throws it into double coverage. Tarell Brown breaks up the pass, and Patrick Willis catches it off of Brown, for an interception.
So it's San Francisco again, and Gore gets a couple yards. Then, with a fullhouse backfield, Davis motions out to the right and Smith hands off to Hunter on the left, who picks up a few yards. Third down sees a pass over the middle to Davis fall incomplete. Akers comes out again, this time for a 49 yard attempt. Unfortunately, it's wide right and he misses that one. 49ers could have a 6-0 lead at this point, but instead it's tied at zero.
Arizona gets the ball and the 49ers begin in the nickel, and LaRod Stephens-Howling picks up four yards on the first down run. Skelton with the play action on second down goes deep to Larry Fitzgerald, but the pass sails over his head and Fitz was well covered, regardless. The Cardinals are out to punt, are called for a false start and back it up. The punt sails to the six-yard line where Ginn fields it and breaks out to about the 35-yard line, but there was a flag very early on. Both teams are called for flags - both holding - the penalties offset. And they re-kick. The Cardinals are called for a facemask and Tramaine Brock avoids a third holding penalty. San Francisco takes over at the 37-yard line.
Alex Smith rolls out on first down and misses a wide open Walker. Then he scrambles for about three yards on the next play, bringing up a 3rd and 7. Smith hits Davis this time for a gain of eight yards and a first down. On the next play, it's Vernon Davis again, this one for a gain of 27 yards. Then, Gore gets a big rush and gets close. Bruce Miller gets a pass on second down and gets awfully close to a touchdown, but it's clear he steps out at the four-yard line. The 49ers call a timeout, and Davis comes back on the field - having left after his big reception with an apparent injury. On third down, Smith throws too high to Edwards, who got his hands on it and probably should have caught it, but again - it was high. Akers comes out and makes his third field goal attempt, from 22 yards back. San Francisco leads 3-0.
Akers kicks another through the end zone. On first down, Patrick Willis strips Wells, but the referees call him down. It looks like a fumble, though, and Jim Harbaugh challenges. The referees overturn it and call it a fumble, so San Francisco's ball just outside the red zone.
Davis almost catches a huge first down pass, but he can't get both feet in. Gore picks up a yard on the next play, bringing up a 3rd and 9. Smith overthrows Edwards by a large margin, and Akers comes out for a 43-yard field goal attempt. It's good, and the 49ers lead 6-0.
Blake Costanzo makes a huge tackle at the 20-yard line on the Akers kickoff. Skelton comes out for the Cardinals and hands off to Wells, who is brought down by Patrick Willis after a couple yards. Going with the empty backfield this time, Skelton hits Fitzgerald for no gain. It's a catch that Fitzgerald had to leap for. On third down, Skelton looks left and can't anything, so he turns right and trips - Ahmad Brooks falls down, catches Skelton, and gets a third-down sack. They'll punt again, and the quarter comes to an end.