San Francisco 49ers (1-1) at Arizona Cardinals (2-0)
|Date & Time||Sunday September 21, 2014, 4:05 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Arizona Cardinals +2 -- Over/Under:
The San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals play a crucial week 3 matchup at U of Phoenix Stadium.
The San Francisco 49ers blew a giant lead against the Chicago Bears and would love nothing more than to win a division game here. The 49ers blueprint hasn’t changed much, as they’re still a heavy running offensive team that’s averaging 4.5 yards per carry and Colin Kaepernick is managing the game by completing 64.9 percent of his passes. However, Kaepernick does need to make better decisions, as he threw three interceptions last week. The 49ers have eight receiving plays of 20 or more yards, including four combined with Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree. Frank Gore is leading the way with 159 rushing yards. Defensively, the San Francisco 49ers are allowing 299 yards and have forced four turnovers and four sacks. Patrick Willis leads the 49ers with 14 tackles and Justin Smith has three of the team’s four sacks.
The Arizona Cardinals are off to a solid 2-0 start after beating the New York Giants on the road last week. Carson Palmer is once again questionable for this matchup as he remains day-to-day with a shoulder injury. Whether it’s Palmer or Drew Stanton under center, the Cardinals are sure to lean on their talented backfield that is averaging 4.3 yards per carry with Andre Ellington leading the way. Ellington and Jonathan Dwyer have rushed for nearly all of the Cardinals 233 yards and seem to be just tapping into their potential. Michael Floyd has made defenses pay for doubling Larry Fitzgerald, as he has 138 receiving yards on six receptions. Defensively, the Arizona Cardinals are allowing 315.5 yards per game and have forced five turnovers and two sacks. Tony Jefferson leads the Cardinals with 14 solo tackles, while Larry Foote has 16 tackles and three tackles for loss.
The Cards have not beaten the 49ers since December of 2011, but this is a different team that's hungry and eager to prove to the rest of the league that there's another real contender in the NFC West. I'd watch this line considering Palmer isn't 100 percent, but I really like Arizona's defense and wth the help from the home crowd, I think the Cardinals get the job done here.