Week 1 - 49ers vs. Cardinals - Open Thread

VS

Date: August 30, 2007
Time: 7:15PMPST, 10:15pm EST
Location: Walsh Field @ MPCP (Monster Park @ Candlestick Point for future reference)
Weather: 69 degree, Sunny, 0% chance of rain
Injury Report: Click Here - SF: Goldson Out, Strickland Probably; AZ: Branch, Kolodziej Out, Leckey Probable.
ScoresAndOdds.com Spread: 49ers -3; Over/Under 46; Money Line SF -175, AZ +155
TV: ESPN (Might be simulcast on KPIX Ch. 5, but not positive)
Radio: 1050 AM/107.7 FM
Niners Nation Prediction: 49ers win 31-20

What time is it?  Game Time!  Since the 49ers ended the Broncos playoff hopes, we've been waiting for this season.  From Day 1 of free agency through the draft, we've been ready for this season to start.  The turning point has been reached and their is light at the end of what has been a long tunnel.  I know we do not expect a Super Bowl title this year.  Heck, it'll be a tough fight just to get into the playoffs.  But this team is significantly improved and after months of talk, it's time to see what this team actually brings to the table (I think that's enough sports cliches for one day).  

Arizona presents an immediate challenge to the 49ers new and improved defense.  Nate Clements will get a chance to earn his contract from the get-go, while we'll soon see if Walt Harris is as good as he was last year.  Frank Gore takes the field for the first time since that Denver game and I know we're all anxious to see how he looks.  We've talked all offseason about the various questions the 49ers face.  While we might not get all the answers we want tonight, we'll definitely take a step in that direction.  Week 1 technically isn't a must-win game, but this is a game the 49ers simply can not lose.  Good teams beat teams that are inferior to them.  The 49ers are a more talented squad than the Cardinals and if the 49ers want to take the next step towards the proverbial return to glory, it will start tonight with a definitive victory.  There is no room for moral victories tonight (ok THAT's the last cliche).

I'll be heading over to Union Square Sports Bar to watch the game tonight.  If you feel like swinging by, I'll be the one in the cherry-red Deion Sanders throwback and 49ers ball cap.  A buddy of mine is working on getting me a Joe Montana cherry-red.  If that happens, it will move obviously to the front of the rotation.

One last reminder: If you want to comment on anything during the game, feel free to fill out the free registration.  The more the merrier as it should be some fun times tonight.  I'll have a quick and dirty recap up tonight, with more in-depth analysis to come during the week.  

GO NINERS!

EDITOR'S NOTE 8:50PM - Well that was certainly a rather ugly first half. The 49ers jumped out early following a Walt Harris INT and Gore TD. However, the offense has been just about non-existent since then and has not been able to put together a sustained drive. Hopefully they can show more signs of life in the second half. Outside of the Arizona TD drive, the defense has been quite solid.

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