Niners beware: Cardinals making most of sacks

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

PHOENIX, Ariz. -- The 49ers' emphasis on running the ball to cut down on turnovers comes at the right time. The Cardinals rank among the best teams in the NFL at recovering fumbles forced during quarterback sacks.

The Cardinals and Jets have each recovered six fumbles following sacks this season, tied for most in the league. This includes Bert Berry's key sack and forced fumble against the 49ers in Week 1.

The 49ers are one of eight teams with zero fumble recoveries following sacks, but they're in good company. The Giants, Ravens, Packers, Redskins and Bucs are also looking for their first fumble recoveries following sacks. That seemed unlikely, but I double-checked it with ESPN's Stats & Information department.

Kurt Warner has done a much better job protecting the football most of this season. The Week 4 game against the Jets stood out as an exception. The Cardinals have allowed four sacks over their last four games. Warner has attempted 154 passes over that stretch.

Pass protection is one part of the equation and getting rid of the football quickly can be more important. That's something the 49ers weren't doing over the first half of the season.