With Brian Hoyer named as the starting QB, I don’t think there is much chance for the Cardinals against the 49ers. Even with a better quarterback, the Cards still have the worst offensive line in the NFL. Their offense is almost completely inept.
I feel sorry for Larry Fitzgerald because he is rotting on the vine with the Cards as a wide receiver without a quarterback to get him the ball.
I believe the Cards definitely will test the right side of the Niners’ defensive front to see how it holds up against the run without Justin Smith. With Smith, the 49ers run defense had been giving up 3.6 yards per carry, tied for second-best in the NFL. In six quarters without Smith, the 49ers are giving up 4.4 yards per carry, tied for 21st-best in the NFL. But the Cards’ offense is so bad (averaging a league-worst 3.4 yards per carry) I doubt they’ll be able to take advantage of the 49ers’ weakness.
The only way the final score is close is if the Niners go into an offensive shell and run the ball to protect their defense. The offense averages 11 series per game – one of the lowest averages in the league. I would not be surprised if they run only nine series against the Cards.
If the Cards offense goes three and out frequently, then obviously the Niners offense will get more series. I don’t see how the Cards can throw for more than 125 yards unless the Niners bust a coverage or two.
The Cards, with no playoffs in sight, have to be playing only for pride. Rumors are rampant of a coaching change down in the desert. Players who are going to hit the free agent market, like La’Rod Stephens-Howling and potentially Beanie Wells, definitely are auditioning for their next contract, but those running backs still have to get some blocking to be able to gain yards.
The Cards will be lucky to have two field goals.
The 49ers will beat them 20-6.
How do you see this game unfolding?