Happy Sunday folks, it’s game day! Although our beloved 49ers haven’t been performing quite as well as we’d have hoped at this point in the season, today is the first of a three-game stretch during which the 49ers will face other teams that roughly match their talent level and record. After facing the one-win Cardinals today, the team will play the one-win Raiders the following Thursday, and then the one-win Giants during the week 10 Sunday games. Some might argue that the downside to this stretch of games is the implications it will have upon the draft order, but I’d argue that the immediate upside is that the 49ers will have a pre-season length period of being competitive again.
As has been a headline for much of the season, injuries will play a major role in today’s game once again. Richard Sherman, Jimmie Ward, and Matt Breida are all expected to participate today, to varying degrees, after recent bouts of injury. However, Pierre Garcon will not be playing, but the team will be able to rely on rookie Dante Pettis, who has recently overcome an injury of his own. I’ve probably mentioned it before, but the clown car/carousel of injuries the 49ers have dealt with this season has become nearly comical in it’s absurdity. Knock on wood (please guys, this is serious), but at least they’ve trimmed the injured list down from it’s high mark from a few weeks ago, of somewhere between 15 and 20 players.
The other primary issue plaguing the 2018 49ers has been the insane turnover differential & rate. Although the Cardinals are an objectively bad team, they’re one whose only victory was against our objectively bad team. It was in a game where our squad obliterated them in every meaningful statistic, other than turnovers, and by extension, points. We handed them the game on a silver platter, in what I could only describe, in my (semi-)professional opinion, as a “craptastic” performance. The team’s problems with turnovers have extended through the season, and it is certainly the #1 controllable variable to victory - this week and beyond. If the team wants to start winning, ball security needs to be a top priority, and I hope that this concept sinks in some time before game time today. Go Niners!
Week 8 preview | Ochoa, 4th & 9
Players and coaches to watch | Maiocco, NBC Sports Bay Area
49ers among leaders in yards after catch | Madson, Ninerswire