Arizona Cardinals vs San Francisco 49ers: Preview, Prediction

October 6, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) catches a touchdown pass against the San Francisco 49ers during the third quarter at Levi

The Arizona Cardinals look for a sweep of their NFC West divisional opponent

This time it’s Carson Palmer vs. Colin Kapernick.  We had the undercard in the last contest with Drew Stanton starting for the Arizona Cardinals and Blaine Gabbert starting for the San Francisco 49ers.

From a 49ers standpoint, you’ll likely not see much of anything different in the end result. Kaepernick can run with the ball but the Cardinals have learned how to contain that for the most part.

What: San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals

Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ

When: 2:25 p.m. Arizona time (4:25 ET)

TV: Fox Sports (Chris Myers, Ronde Barber)

Radio: Arizona Sports 98.7 FM (Dave Pasch, Ron Wolfley)

The Cardinals (3-4-1) will be coming off their bye week.  It was a much needed break after being whipped 33-20 by the Carolina Panthers.

The 49ers (1-7) are coming off a 41-23 loss to the New Orleans Saints last week.  They have lost seven-consecutive games since opening the season with a 28-0 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.

In their last meeting, the Cardinals started slow, something they’ve unfortunately gotten used to this season.  However after a late first-half touchdown, they went on to defeat the 49ers 33-21.

The Cardinals will be coming into the matchup still a little banged up.  Safety Tyrann Mathieu has been officially ruled out for Sunday afternoon’s game.  He is expected to miss 3-6 weeks but he was not officially ruled out until Friday.

For the 49ers they are just marching towards another high draft pick.  There have been rumors of coach Chip Kelly leaving to go back to the college ranks.  Nothing new there but he said he’s staying put.

This is clearly the “b’ game on the Fox schedule Sunday afternoon with the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers also playing on Fox at the same time.  For now, that may work in the Cardinals favor.

October 6, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Alex Okafor (57) celebrates after tackling San Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde (28) during the third quarter at Levi

The Cardinals time is now.  They are back out of the national spotlight.  No more prime time games for the time being.

The Cardinals may have already suffered too many injuries to do anything significant in 2016 but then again, the next man up mantra may already be working.

Left tackle John Wetzel will be replacing Jared Veldheer who is out for the season.  He played well in his absence a couple of weeks ago against the Panthers.  He was about the only offensive lineman though to say anything positive about.

To say the offensive line struggled against Carolina would be an understatement.  They proved successful against the 49ers the first time around however.

The 49ers give up a lot of rushing yards.  Cardinals running back David Johnson could have another field day on Sunday.  He could become the eighth straight back to rush over 100 yards over the 49ers defense.

The Cardinals need to take advantage of this one.  This is just one of three games left at home this season.  The next two weeks are at the Minnesota Vikings and the Atlanta Falcons.

A complete game would also be nice.  The closest the Cardinals came to that this season was the Monday Night Football victory over the New York Jets.  That was also the only game this season in which the Cardinals have scored in the first quarter.

So on Sunday, the outcome can be nothing but a victory for the Cardinals if they wish to continue any playoff talk beyond tomorrow.  For the 49ers, it’s a chance to ruin a divison-rival’s chance to reach their end-goals.

In the end the Cardinals will win this one and they will score in the first quarter.  Both sides of the ball will come up big on Sunday.  Arizona 37 San Francisco 14

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