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Final Score, Three Bold Predictions for Cardinals-49ers

With the Arizona Cardinals slated to do battle against the San Francisco 49ers in Mexico City, here are three bold predictions for the game.

Viva la Arizona Cardinals! The Cardinals are set to face off in the heart of Mexico against NFC West rivals in the San Francisco 49ers tonight and it could be a grueling matchup against a top defense and steady offense. 

With Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers set to face a red-hot Cardinals defense led by J.J. Watt. How could this game turn out? Let's make some bold predictions and guess the final score here!

DeAndre Hopkins finds the endzone and makes some highlight reel catches

DeAndre Hopkins

Kyler Murray still hasn't been confirmed to be playing in this game just yet, but that likely won't stop DeAndre Hopkins from having his way with this 49ers' defense. 

While Hopkins has played just four games this season, that hasn't stopped him from quickly reminding defenses that he is one of the NFL's top receivers. The 49ers have themselves a terrific defense, but they still lack a cornerback who can go toe-to-toe with Hopkins.

Whoever is throwing the rock for the Cardinals will know to look at Hopkins' way early and often, and I have a feeling that that strategy will pay off for them. Look for Hopkins to have another stellar day thanks to his target share and find his way into the endzone for the third time this season.

JJ Watt and co. sack Jimmy Garoppolo twice

J.J. Watt

The 49ers' offensive line is one of the league's better units thanks to Trent Williams and company. Still, the Cardinals' pass rush has found its legs in recent weeks and they will present an excellent offensive line with a hot unit.

The Cardinals have brought down opposing quarterbacks eight times in the last three weeks with JJ Watt leading the charge. If the Cardinals want a chance in this game, they'll need to get after Jimmy Garoppolo early and often and make him uncomfortable.

While Williams has proven to be an immovable object at left tackle, Mike McGlinchey isn't as flawless and could have a hard time keeping up with Watt. I don't anticipate the Cardinals to get sack happy in this game, but I do believe that they could have themselves a couple of sacks with how hot the unit is playing right now.

The Cardinals can't keep up against an elite defense

Colt McCoy

It's asking a lot for any team to outscore an opponent with a defense as nasty as the 49ers possess. It'll be asking even more out of the Cardinals to do so considering the struggles they've had throughout 2022 and potentially without Kyler Murray at the helm. 

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Even if Murray plays, this defense makes few mistakes and forces more big plays than they allow. While stopping Hopkins feels like an impossible task for any team, the rest of the Cardinals' offense will be more than manageable for the 49ers to stop given the weapons at their disposal. 

Fred Warner will eliminate anything from the tight end spot with Zach Ertz now lost for the year, and the run game will struggle against this front. It'll be up to whoever is at quarterback to throw the team's receivers open because Charvarius Ward and co. have been more difficult to throw on than you'd imagine.

A short-handed Cardinals offense that isn't functioning at 100% is going to struggle to put up points on this 49ers defense. It also won't help when Nick Bosa is terrorizing whoever is playing quarterback for the team. This will be a low-scoring affair for the Cardinals, so their hopes of winning will be dependent on the defense keeping the 49ers under wraps.

FINAL SCORE: 49ers 24 Cardinals 10

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