Standouts from San Francisco 49ers’ Week 3 Loss

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Chris Culliver and Jimmie Ward

Sep 21, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd (15) makes a catch against San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver (29) during the second half at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals won 23-14. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers’ secondary was exposed on Sunday, as Arizona quarterback Drew Stanton picked apart the defense through the air. Tramaine Brock’s toe injury forced him to miss his second straight game, and he was sorely missed.

Jimmie Ward, San Francisco’s 2014 first-round draft pick, had another rough game. One week after being picked on by Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall for three touchdowns, he was taken advantage of again.

He was beaten a couple times on balls deep down the field, including a long touchdown pass to wide receiver John Brown. He was also beat on a long crossing route over the middle by Larry Fitzgerald in the fourth quarter, giving the long-time Cardinal his first reception of the game.

Ward is a very talented young player, but with the injury to Brock, he is being forced into a role he is not ready for. He needs time to develop and learn how to play defensive back at an NFL level.

Chris Culliver also had a rough day against the Cardinals. He was beat on short third-down passes in key situations and on a few deep balls to Michael Floyd. He was also called for a very dumb taunting penalty that offset a holding penalty.

These two are key players to the 49ers’ defense as long as Brock is out. They have to play much better than they did against the Cardinals.