Here's what three All49ers writers think will go down Sunday when the 49ers play the Arizona Cardinals.
The 49ers’ schedule gauntlet continues in Week 5 on the road against the undefeated Arizona Cardinals.
The 49ers offense will have to rely on its rushing attack this week as they will enter the game with Trey Lance under center. Don’t expect fireworks from the offense in this game, instead it will be a slow, plodding attack that emphasizes ball control and time of possession. The good news is they are facing the 29th ranked rushing defense, the bad news is the Cardinals are second in the NFL in forced turnovers. Regardless of who’s in at quarterback, the 49ers will have to scheme max protection throughout the day to slow down the pass rush and try to avoid costly turnovers.
The 49ers defense will face the second highest scoring offense this week with playmakers all over the field. The Cardinals are four deep with dangerous wide receivers and have arguably the most athletic quarterback in the league. This will be a tough test for defensive coordinator Demeco Ryans but I do expect an aggressive game plan. The only chance the 49ers have to slow down Arizona will be with pressure on Murray that forces him to roll to his left where he struggles. Ultimately, there are just too many playmakers on the field and too many injuries in the 49ers secondary.
Final Prediction: Cardinals 33 - 49ers 27
I’ve been down for awhile, but I’m back. That said, jump in the Silverado with me and let’s take this ride out to State Farm stadium for Week 5 to take on (and hopefully out) the 4-0 Arizona Cardinals. The San Francisco 49ers have another uphill battle in the last game of their three-game gauntlet. Kyler Murray has been playing out of his mind spreading the ball around to all his weapons with incredible balance. Truth be told, the Cardinals offense has been lighting up the scoreboard, putting up at least 30 points in every game this season.
Though it looks bleak and hard to smile for the 49ers with so much uncertainty due to player availability and changes, there are some things to be both hopeful for and excited about. In the Week 4 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, the 49ers defense came out swinging as they forced five punts on as many possessions for the Seahawks to start the game.
The offense followed suit by starting hot scoring a touchdown on their first drive. Unfortunately, that’s about where things began to fall apart. Here’s my point. Undefeated or not, highest scoring offense or not, MVP play by Murray or not, if the 49ers can duplicate the same or better performance on defense, by consistently pressuring (harassing) Murray while on the field, and the offense is putting points on the board while he’s off the field, this game can result in a win.
As recently reported, rookie Trey Lance will make the first start of his career Sunday. Not the ideal situation for a rookie, but I truly believe head coach Kyle Shanahan will have bot a scheme and Lance ready to do great things on Sunday in his first start. In other injury news, All Pro left tackle Trent Williams is set to play despite a shoulder injury, rookie running back Elijah Mitchell is also up for the game adding to the teams rushing attack. Unfortunately, the people's tight end George Kittle is listed as “doubtful," so Lance may be without his services.
In conclusion, underdog or not, the 49ers have a chance to win this game and upset the Cardinals with a strong debut by Lance, another dominating performance by the Nick Bosa, Dee Ford defense renting time shares in the personal space of Murray, and an encore performance by Deebo Samuel, and other key weapons on offense. I’m putting my faith in a strong (enough) performance by Lance and the defense, so I’ll go against the grain here with me prediction. GO BE GREAT AND SHOCK THE WORLD, TREY!!!!
Final prediction: 49ers 31 Cardinals 27
The 49ers are on a mini-collapse, and they're are playing the best team in the NFL with a potential 2-3 record heading in the bye week.
Trey Lance's ability to escape from the defenders will not be enough.
The Cardinals are loaded on both sides of the football. Don't be surprised if the home team puts this game out of reach of the 49ers by the end of the 1st half. 49ers fans have undermined the Cardinals team and the coach, and it is about to blow up in front of their faces.
Kyler Murray is playing the best version of football in his career, and is the early favorite to win the MVP. He converted a 3rd and 16 play last week with his legs against the Rams. With his receivers ready to pile up on the 49ers misery, the visiting team will be left with two weeks to lick their wounds at the end.
Final Prediction: Cardinals win 35 - 17