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Smith tosses 3 TDs, 49ers roll past Cardinals

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Oct 29 2012 11:47:44 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 30 2012 08:13:04 AM CDT
49ers Cardinals

Darryl Webb / Reuters

GLENDALE, Ariz. -

The San Francisco 49ers added to Arizona's growing misery Monday night with a 24-3 victory at University of Phoenix Stadium, handing the Cardinals their fourth consecutive loss after a 4-0 start.

Alex Smith was super efficient in completing 18 of 19 passes for 232 yards and a career-high-tying three touchdowns, including two in the first half to Michael Crabtree, as San Francisco strengthened its hold on the NFC West.

At 6-2, the 49ers now have a two-game lead in the division heading into their bye week before resuming with upcoming home games against St. Louis and Chicago.

As for the reeling Cardinals, they are now in a free fall and the future still looks murky and dark. Their next two games are on the road against two NFC teams flying high in the Green Bay Packers and the Atlanta Falcons.

The 49ers scored on their second possession of the game, taking a 7-0 lead after mounting a 10-play, 77-yard drive capped by a three-yard touchdown pass from Smith to Crabtree.

The drive consumed six minutes and San Francisco held the ball for all but three minutes, 33 seconds in the opening quarter.

After padding their lead thanks to a 43-yard field goal from David Akers, the 49ers went on another long drive right before halftime. Once again, Smith found Crabtree for the score, this time on a 15-yard pass play for a 17-0 lead.

The drive covered 68 yards in eight plays.

The Cardinals were outgained 212-69 in the first half.

San Francisco didn't waste any time sticking it to the Cardinals again once the second half began. Smith hit Crabtree for a 30-yard gain on third-and-long, and three plays later, Smith found Randy Moss for a short completion that Moss turned into a 47-yard touchdown and a commanding 24-0 lead.

Moss made a juke move on Jamell Fleming, who missed the tackle, and linebacker Paris Lenon couldn't wrap him up either as Moss made his way down the sideline for his second score of the year.

It was his 156th career touchdown, tying Moss with Terrell Owens for fourth all-time in total touchdowns.

NOTES: The 49ers have now tallied 42 wins on Monday Night Football, the second most behind only the Cowboys (44). ... With his 13-yard reception in the second quarter, Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald extended his club record for consecutive games with at least one catch to 125, the second-longest active streak in the league behind Atlanta's Tony Gonzalez (186). ... San Francisco offensive lineman Daniel Kilgore suffered a concussion in the first quarter and did not return. ... The Cardinals were without starting right guard Adam Snyder because of a quadriceps injury. He spent seven seasons with the 49ers. Rich Ohrnberger replaced him in the starting lineup.