The last time the 49ers and the Cardinals played, San Francisco won with C.J. Beathard under center. Sure, these two teams are different. But outside of Niners' land, you’d think San Francisco is going to roll over today.
Arizona is undefeated, and their offense is a top-three unit in the league. Kyler Murray is completing 79% of his passes — which is 11 yards over expectation — with a success rate of 50%. A handful of times a game, Murray will run around for 5+ seconds and find an open receiver. Those soul-crushing plays have been the Cardinals' recipe for success.
On paper, the 49ers' defense doesn’t stand a chance. They’re 18th in EPA per play and 16th in success rate while continually giving up big plays. Stats rarely include full context, and those numbers ignore the situations DeMeco Ryans’ group has been in this year.
We predicted a 49ers win mostly due to not turning over the ball and putting the defense in those situations. Also, because it would be difficult for the offense to be any more stagnant. The Cardinals present the perfect opportunity for the Niners to get going on offense. I think we see a 100-yard runner, and I also like Lance running for over 50 yards.
It’s time San Francisco’s special teams held up their end of the bargain. There have been some comical blunders in the third phase of the game for the 49ers, and if they are to win today, those errors have to stop.
Contain Kyler. Make Arizona sustain drives. Stay out of 3rd & 8+. Hit a few big plays. Take care of the football. Be aggressive. Win the game.