The San Francisco 49ers are firmly into their rebuilding process, looking for their first win and some signs of growth. On Sunday, they face an Arizona Cardinals team that is tough to figure out. They’re 3-4, alternating losses and wins all season. The Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams lead the NFC West at 5-2, and the second wild card team is 5-3.
The Cardinals had a shot to hang around this thing, but losing Carson Palmer likely has cost them their chance at a playoff berth. Of course, the defense has been a problem has well, so even with Palmer, they seemed like a long shot.
We chatted with Revenge of the Birds site manager Seth Cox this week, and I wanted to get his thoughts on how fans see the second half of the season going for Arizona. I also asked his thoughts on best and worst case scenario. Here’s what he had to say.
It has been a lot of highs and lows and quite honestly I expect that to continue this weekend. With C.J. Beathard starting, the Cardinals should beat the 49ers, if Garoppolo was starting I would be singing a different tune, but it sounds like it is Beathard. If this defense can't take advantage of a rookie quarterback and the 49ers missing their best offensive lineman and their best receiver, then the back half of the season is going to be much longer than Cardinals fans think.
I wrote the other day that I really do see this team finishing right around .500, 7-9 to be exact, despite all the injuries, because the schedule isn't killer. They get the Beathard-led 49ers, they have a nearly impossible task on a short week against the Seattle Seahawks, but now they get a Houston Texans team without Deshaun Watson. They then get the Jacksonville Jaguars on a cross-country road trip in Arizona, and they get an up and down Tennessee Titans team at home. All of that and they get the seemingly awful New York Giants. I don't think this is a playoff team in any way shape or form, but I think they can find a way to win 3-4 games out of the ones I listed...
Plus they get the Seahawks in Week 17 when they could have the division or a playoff spot wrapped up and be resting players.
Maybe I am optimistic, but saying your team going 6-10 or 7-9 isn't exactly positive (also that is what I would consider best case).
Worst case ... They lose Sunday and fold up shop before Thanksgiving knowing that their next winnable game, again if they lose to the 49ers, is not until Christmas Eve against the Giants.
Sunday will tell us a lot about this team. Do they have the fight to put forward solid, if unspectacular work? Or are they checked out?