GLENDALE, Ariz. -– Linebacker NaVorro Bowman plays football with a lot of emotion. On Sunday, the lopsided score contributed to his frustrations.
Bowman was called for unsportsmanlike conduct in the third quarter after the 49ers stopped the Arizona Cardinals on a third-down play. After referee Tony Corrente determined Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer had recovered his own fumble, Corrente order Bowman to get up from the pile, Bowman said.
But he continued to fight for the ball. Bowman was called for a penalty, and instead of a Cardinals punt, they were granted a first down.
“They were probably tired of me, honestly” Bowman said of the penalty. "I play with a lot of emotion, man. I felt like a bad call was made. Then, when I have the ball in my hands, I want the ball. I’m fighting hard. And then they tell me to get up off the ball. It was just emotions. Nothing serious. Hopefully the refs will forgive me.”
In the second quarter, Bowman disputed a penalty for illegal contact that contributed to his frustration in the 47-7 blowout loss to the NFC West-leading Cardinals.
Bowman is the leader of the 49ers’ defense, and he was at a loss to explain the back-to-back dismal showings. The 49ers last week were 43-18 losers to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“I believe we had a great week of practice,” Bowman said. “But you have to come ready to play, and we didn’t. It showed. The great thing about it is you have another game next week. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.”
The 49ers have 24 first- and second-year players on their 53-man roster, but Bowman said he does not want to hold this team to a lower standard.
“I don’t like making excuses,” he said. “You guys know we have a young team here. And if you do the math, maybe that’s the reason. Once we put those helmets on and go out there, it’s no excuses. We have to be ready to play.”
Bowman, who recorded a team-high nine tackles, has his own problems. He does not believe he is all the way back from the knee injury he sustained in the NFC Championship game in January 2014.
On Sunday, he tweaked the same knee while making a tackle against Cardinals running back Chris Johnson. After getting up slowly and flexing his knee, Bowman remained in the game.
“It’s a good thing,” Bowman said. “That’s the trail I’ve been telling you guys. You can’t simulate football until you go out there and play games. Expectations are high for me, but I understand what’s going on with my body. And I’m giving it 100 percent every single day. Those kind of tweaks and aches are going to come. I got to get back up and keep going.”
Said 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks: “It’s an embarrassing feeling. I don’t think I’ve ever lost a game by 40 points, so deep down inside it hurts. I know what this team is capable of doing. We just have to believe in each other and we have to want to make plays.”
---Tight end Vernon Davis had two balls thrown his way. Both were intercepted. Davis claimed that he knew the Cardinals’ plan to was to focus on shutting him down.
“Before the game started, one of their coaches came up to me and told me they were going to try to take me away,” Davis said. “That was the plan, and I’m sure they were trying to take other people away, as well, like Torrey (Smith) and Anquan (Boldin) and those guys. But to hear a coach say that before the game started is like, ‘Oh, wow. Really?’ ”
Davis left the game in the third quarter with a knee injury. It is not believed to be serious.
---Running back Carlos Hyde had 51 yards rushing on 15 carries, as the Cardinals focused on limiting his effectiveness. Hyde said he believed the 49ers could have still achieved some success on the ground.
“We have some work to do and then we’ll be all right,” Hyde said. “It is a challenge for anyone to be down that much and try to fight back.
“I think we should have got the run game going. I know we were only gaining 1 or 2 yards, but we could have stayed with it. We just need to stay patient and the big plays will come. But we got behind and we could not really run the ball, so we needed to pass to score the quick points.”
---Return man Jarryd Hayne might have supplied the 49ers with their best play of the game when he returned a second-quarter punt 37 yards. Three plays later, Kaepernick scored on a 12-yard keeper.
“It was obviously a tough loss, but I am trying to make the most of my opportunities as they come,” Hayne said. “I am trying to do what is best for the team. I had my opportunity and I wanted to make the most of it. I lost my feet at the end of the run, and I tried to stay up.
“Every week I am just living and learning. That is my mentality and that will continue to be my mentality – get better every week and help the team any way I can.”
Hayne did not touch the ball on offense. Backup running back Mike Davis had just six yards rushing on seven attempts.
---Cornerback Shareece Wright was inactive for the third consecutive game this season. He posted on Twitter, “Politics as usual.”He deleted his tweet a short time later. When asked about Wright’s post, coach Jim Tomsula said, “That is an incorrect statement. It had nothing to do with anything. I made the decision to put the guys up that I thought gave us the best chance of winning the football game.”