It was a long day for Jimmy Garoppolo against the Cardinals. But he wasn’t the only one. (Kent Porter/Press Democrat)


Unprepared, sloppy and flat, the 49ers hit the trifecta in Sunday’s 24-20 loss to the Cardinals. It isn’t often that you can blame all three football components for a loss,  offense, defense and special teams, but they all contributed.

“All three units got to play well,” George Kittle said afterwards. “All three units didn’t play well.”

I’m sure everyone is eager to get started with some Jimmy Garoppolo-bashing, and we’ll get to him, but first let’s highlight a couple of moments that said a lot about the outcome.

First, the blocked punt in the first quarter. That should virtually never happen to a competent, professional football team. Teams go a full year without getting a punt blocked.

The protection was lackadaisical at best. You’ve seen the replay, so no need to go over specifics. The 49ers missed their pickups, leaving slender defensive back Dontae Johnson to be steamrolled by two rushers up the middle.

But it was also important when it happened. The 49ers were up 10-0. Garoppolo was 5-7 for 111 yards and a TD. The running game was rolling. It all looked good.

The blocked punt turned everything upside down. The Cardinals recovered the ball deep in 49ers territory and scored immediately, making it 10-7. It was literally a whole new ball game.

Second, the 14-play, 94-yard Arizona drive at the end of the third quarter

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