How 49ers can avoid embarrassing upset on Thursday

San Francisco 49ers middle linebacker Kwon Alexander (56) looks across the line of scrimmage during an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Mark Tenally)

SANTA CLARA — Under normal circumstances, the 49ers would blow out the Arizona Cardinals.

The 49ers have a complete team —they’ve built it up the past three seasons. The Cardinals have an incomplete team — they’re rebuilding with rookie head coach Kliff Kingsbury. They’re at least two seasons behind the 49ers.

But the game will be in Arizona. Advantage: Cardinals. And the game will be Thursday night, meaning neither team practiced much this week. And neither team is fully rested and prepared.

“Guys coming off a Sunday game to play on Thursday is just a terrible turnaround,” Richard Sherman said. “Obviously, guys have gotten hurt during those games.”

Guys such as Sherman. He tore his Achilles tendon during a Thursday night game in 2017.

Funny things happen on Thursday night. The better team doesn’t always win. This game could be much closer than most expect.

Here’s what the 49ers must do to win.

This article has 149 Comments

  1. AZ is also coming off a Sunday game. Niners’ D is more rested than AZ (fewer snaps), and has traveled well. They will feast on the lousy O line of AZ. They don’t have a running game and Murray will be running for his life on Halloween Night. Kyle will unload the plays from the Panthers game that he didn’t use. It’s part of Shanny’s Payback Tour after a 0-4 record against the Cards (Niners are 0-8 in the last 4 seasons). Niners 38-10.

    1. I agree with Mood Indigo, the Niners rested their starters in the 4th quarter on Sunday due to a blowout win. Arizona on the other hand had their defense on the field for 38 minutes. I believe this will be a factor on a short week.

  2. The Niners need to continue to be road warriors. This is a far cry from last season, when they were 0-8 on the road.
    .
    I am not too worried. The front four will collapse the pocket, so they should keep a MLB in to stop KM from running up the middle. The overall team speed will be like the Saints, who whupped the Cards last game.
    .
    JG will break out, and have a good passing game, because the Cards will sell out to stop the run. I agree with Grant. attack their weakness, and Patrick Peterson is their strength. I hope Pettis can get open more, but Kittle should get most of the targets. JG should just do like last game, and concentrate on scoring TDs.
    .
    The only way the Niners lose, is if they beat themselves. If they play focused, disciplined and well prepared, the Cards may be the next team to be embarrassed.
    .
    Niners 35-13

      1. AES, TYVM.
        .
        We went back after the evacuation order became a warning, and slept in the dark for 2 days. Fortunately, we had experienced outages before, and had filled 10 five gallon buckets with water ahead of time. We used candles, and played Settlers of Catan. I also taught my daughter how to play Backgammon.
        .
        Now, my wife is throwing out all of our food in the freezer, but that is nothing compared to the people who lost their homes.

        1. Good to hear you and family are doing well. I have family in Kentfield who were still in the dark last night. Hope the winds die down today for everyone in your area.

  3. The better team doesn’t always win on Sundays either. No reason to worry just because it’s a Thursday. Both teams are at an equal disadvantage. Go Niners!

  4. It’s laughable that Cohn continues to hold out hope that one of his miserable and idiotic “hot takes” will come true. He needs to just eat his crow and start covering this team like a professional.

    1. Grant, you were wrong on everything you said about the 49ers. You were pompous, arrogant, and ignorant all off season. Why don’t you admit that and cover this team the way a 7-0 team should be covered? You thought you were a “professional” for covering them as a 4-12 team last year, and yet your coverage has not changed despite the niners victories. I am getting the feeling that you’re just a blogger whose about clicks, and you’re not a serious reporter/journalist.

    2. I get that you love Nick Mullens because he actually talks to you and his daddy watches your periscopes, but your disrespect to Jimmy G is laughable and lazy. This “shanahan doesn’t Trust jimmy take” is beyond stupid and unprofessional. They are playing complimentary football. That means that jimmy’s job is to just be money on third down and sustain methodical drives. They are 7-0 so he has to be doing something right. Didn’t you say that he would make them go 6-10? He could put up much better stats than boot leg case Keenum(Nick mullens) if the game situation called for that. Mullens doesn’t have good pocket feel or presence. I love that the guy works hard, but every advanced passing metric indicates that he is just a Kyle shanahan product. He was bad on third down and he led the nfl in terms of how open the receivers he threw to were. Despite his “superior” decision making, he still through 10 interceptions in 8 games.

    I guess jimmy is just going to have to endure what Russell Wilson endured thanks to idiotic coverage from media heads like you.

    3. Go eat your crow. You’re always wrong. Why don’t you admit it for once?

    1. Fans forget that it’s the money down where quarterbacks earn their keep, score points, rests your defense, creates offensive rhythm, and keeps the Rodgers’, Brees’, and Wilson’s on the bench!

      1. People also forget that early in his career Tom Brady was just a average qb who was big on third down and clutch. People also forget that joe Montana threw 3 interceptions in the infamous catch game. If idiots like Cohn were around in 1981, they probably would’ve said that Montana would hold the niners back. Jimmy is Incredible on third down and very clutch. Those along with leadership should be the 3 intangibles you look for in a qb. He is just starting to heat up after his acl injury. I think he’s going to have a big second half of the season. Especially if we get a couple close games that allow him to really sling it.

        1. Actually, they did. Called him a weak-armed system product. They also dumped on Jerry Rice as a rookie and said Walsh had gone senile for drafting him.

          1. The media stinks. Only job where there is zero responsibility for being wrong and for speculating with zero facts.

        2. As I recall, it was Glenn Dickey who led the anti Montana Media crowd early in Joe’s career. To Dickey’s credit he finally jumped on the Montana band wagon.

    2. Dude,
      Cease and desist from your ad hominem attacks on Grant. We love to laugh at his hawt takes but we love him all the same. Clearly, making otherworldly ridiculous claims is part of Grant’s brand — no problem since the outcomes routinely contradict his predictions, despite the adage about the broken clock….

      1. Fair enough. I am just sick of his ad hominem attacks at players. I feel like we should hold him accountable for his garbage as well.

        FYI I was banned on my other email. It seems grant cannot take the heat.

      2. Mood:

        Maybe I haven’t been on this blog long enough, but I always held out some hope that Grant would actually listen to his “constituents” in order to advance his career. Perhaps I’m out of touch and the path he is pursuing is the way to advance yourself in today’s media (which I generally despise). At any rate, I think your tack is the right one. Laugh at his hot takes and understand that he’s made his choice.

      3. In the end, it’s all in good fun. It’s just that some are having too much fun due to so much winning! Guilty as charged your honor!😎

      4. Yup, Grant can be a little grinding at times (OK, must of the time) but he’s created a nice following over the time that he’s been here.

        I for one, don’t always agree with him but he has come a long way in learning the nuances of the game and keeps things moving around here.
        If Grant’ job depends on “hits” on this board he’s doing guite well.

    1. Ha!
      Cool! We can now add embarrassing, along with meaningless, alarming, and perhaps robotic, moron and drunken sailors to the Inside the 49ers catch words/phrases. Am I missing any?

  5. I’d be worried if we didn’t have the best B- player in the NFL:

    Nick Bosa won NFC Defensive Player of the Month
    Nick Bosa won NFC Defensive Rookie of the Month

    Nick Bosa is the runaway candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year.
    Nick Bosa is a legitimate candidate for Defensive Player of the Year.

    Nick Bosa is a Top-5 pass-rusher (Sacks + Hits + Pressure).
    He also has an INT and 10 TFLs despite playing part-time and only being healthy for four games.

    Actually, I wouldn’t be worried. At all.

    Which is not to say the 49ers can’t lose. It’s the NFL and stranger things have happened, like the 2-14 49ers beating a play-off bound (10-6) Buc’s team that sported the #1 defense in the NFL back in 1979.

    1. Another unprofessional bit of reporting from Grant. He told us that Bosa would not play hurt. Bosa did play hurt. He said Bosa would hold out. Bosa did not hold out. In my line of work, if I take strong ignorant stances I get fired. It beats me how this level of unprofessionalism from Cohn does not garner consequences.

      Either way so psyched to have Bosa. Seems to be a great person and a great player. Hopefully he can “stay on his feet” because he is not a “elite” athlete.

      1. I’m so glad Bosa is on our team!

        I’m also still surprised there was no accountability for Grant when he initiated his pre-draft racial smear campaign against Bosa. It was extremely unprofessional. A true pro would have sought out Bosa and gave him a platform to explain himself….

      2. You’ll notice he’s still at the same small town paper? Not going anywhere, just an amateur hack who got that job because his daddy. No Grant at the Athletic? Of course not. Just brash baseless statements about players.

        1. It’s not for want of effort though, these periscopes and hot mics he does instead of actual beat writing are quite tedious. I’m sure he’s also realized his engagement drops off a cliff when he does video, but its about him getting another job, not about the one he has.

  6. Keys to victory

    1. Rush the ball early and often. 49ers run game vs Cards run defense is a major advantage for 49ers. Exploit it.
    2. Rotate d-lineman frequently. Chasing a fast midget QB is going to exhaust the d-lineman. I’ve seen Murray in person. No way in HELL is he 5′ 10″. Think more like 5’8″ or maybe even shorter. But he is the quickest, and maybe fastest, QB in the NFL. He feels pressure extremely well and his quickness gets him out of jams. Keep the d-line fresh.
    3. Don’t push too far upfield in the pass rush. Collapse the pocket rather than trying to run around the tackles. Box Murray in.
    4. Get Kittle involved. Cardinals are horrible against TE’s. This is the game for Kittle to score multiple TDs. Plus I picked up Jimmy G for my fantasy team and I’m starting him. Need JG to have a big day.
    5. Never take your foot off the pedal. Murray has a long history of making big plays when the pressure is on. Take the fight out of the Cards early and keep your foot on their throat.

    1. And #6…

      When needing to punt, down the ball well inside the 20–deeper the better. Fewer punts are a good thing, obviously; but when needing to, pin the Cards deep.

      And #7…

      Don’t spend time outs like drunken sailors.

    1. 🔥Burning question:

      Officer Hammer, what team on the remaining schedule will force the 49ers to unchain the passing game?

      1. 🔥Burning question #2:

        What happens when a team like the Saints, who pass 58.59% of the time, marches into a defense that’s #1 in passing yards allowed per game, #1 in sack percentage, and #2 in completion percentage?

        1. 49ers should be headed to Baltimore at 11-0, but the first test for the defense comes in that week 12 game against GB. I think that will give you a better preview to your question about week 14 in NO.

  7. Here we are in late October, undefeated.

    Recall the hot drama around the alleged Lynch — Shanahan rift? And the disgruntled scouts?

    What happened with all that?

  8. Hmmmm, how can I find a negative way to spin an article about a 7-0 team? Creative fiction.
    Hint: avoid referring to the terrible draft choice collecting awards and the overrated overpayed FAs making strong contributions.
    Then wait by the phone for the appreciative calls from the coaching staff who were sitting around waiting for some guidance from the blogosphere.

  9. 1. Cards beat the Bengals, Giants and Falcons by a combined 10 points . They are not the worst team, but not a good one either.
    2. It will be interesting to see how Kyler 5’10 handles a 6’6 + D line
    3. I leave open the possibility that the Cards score a TD on wild broken play in which KM scrambles around and finds a receiver downfield.
    4. Prediction Niners 34-3 and maybe Niners 34-10

    1. The Gold Crush seems so derivative. It definitely works but how about some choices with some originality…

      Scarlet Fever
      The ClaimJumpers
      The FABB 4 – Ford, Armstead, Bosa, Buckner
      Red & Gold Death
      Warner Brothers
      Golden Empire of Pain
      The Fighting 49ers
      Red & Gold Brigade
      The Sky Soldiers – for the secondary.

      I realize some of those are pretty lame but something more original would be better.

          1. Scarlet Fever-3 votes- Brother’s Hammer, Rib, AES
            The California Gold Crush-2 votes-Brother’s Mood, Razor
            Claim Jumpers or FABB 4-1 vote-Brother Pot
            Gold Horde-1 vote-Brother Sour

        1. Now I really like that one, Ninermd. Nicely done.

          Scarlet Fever-3 votes- Brother’s Hammer, Rib, AES
          The California Gold Crush-2 votes-Brother’s Mood, Razor
          Claim Jumpers or FABB 4-1 vote-Brother Pot
          Gold Horde-1 vote-Brother Sour
          Goldman Sacks-1 vote-Brother Ninermd

            1. Scarlet Fever-3 votes- Brother’s Hammer, Rib, AES
              The California Gold Crush-2 votes-Brother’s Mood, Razor
              Goldman Sacks-2 votes-Brother’s Ninermd, Under
              Claim Jumpers or FABB 4-1 vote-Brother Pot
              Gold Horde-1 vote-Brother Sour

              1. Claim Jumper is pretty good – your land is going to be Niner land.

                Scarlet Fever has it by a degree.

              2. Scarlet Fever-4 votes- Brother’s Hammer, Rib, AES, Under
                The California Gold Crush-2 votes-Brother’s Mood, Razor
                Goldman Sacks-1 vote-Brother Ninermd
                Claim Jumpers or FABB 4-1 vote-Brother Pot
                Gold Horde-1 vote-Brother Sour

  10. OT, but gratz to Tom Tobert, and his winning bet on the Nationals.
    .
    I am super surprised that the home team lost every game.
    .
    Karma is a biotch. Women beaters never prosper. Taubman and Osuna deserved to lose.

  11. How sick is the Niners’ Scheme Supremacy?
    Niners ran for 239 yards against Panthers (not counting lost yards on taking the knee), and 169 of those yards came before contact.

      1. UC

        After much heartache…etc., the eagle has finally landed…in Reedsport….I don’t know how to contact you…(phone) or other, I also answer to ‘Buck’ ph#( 541) 505-9129 that beer sounds good….

        1. I have a VA appointment in North Bend on Friday 8th at 3 pm. Will be going through Reedsport both ways. I got your number. There is a pub in Gardiner.

  12. sebnynah says:
    October 30, 2019 at 8:22 pm
    Well, JG is so good, I stopped calling for JL to sign Kaep. That says a lot.

    REPLY: That train has left the station…You’ll always be known as the whimpering, whiner of Windsor, or Sebraiderpol, or whatever town that was; pining away for your Kaep, like the jilted woman marooned on lighthouse island.

    1. I have moved on. I do not know why you can’t.
      .
      Dissing Windsor says a lot about you. The outlying homes experienced 100 homes lost, and only by the grace of God, and the heroic actions of the fire fighters, did they stop a conflagration.

        1. You brought up Windsor, I did not. They are not a bunch of whimpering whiners. They just went through hell.
          .
          Football? Dissing a die hard faithful Niner fan by calling him a Raider fan is reprehensible, then you talk about trains and lighthouses.
          .
          Quit trying so hard.

  13. When its all said and done….regardless of how far we make it into the playoffs this year…..what will be the main stories of this year???

    Obviously the D-Line has been the star of the show, but how did this bottom cellar team become one of the elites seemingly overnight? Every week I watch this team, there’s about 5-7 times (at least) in a game I find myself asking “Who is this team???”

    How has the coaching improved this much, seemingly in one season??? I know the talent has developed and pieces have been added over time, but it just seems like such a huge leap forward. Seems like we skipped some steps in the rebuilding process, at least a year or two.

    And btw, I cannot stand the rhetoric that Sean Payton is not only close to Shanny in the coach of the year race, but leading. That is ridiculous by all accounts!!! The team was already good after consecutive deep playoff runs. So what! They lost their old, noodle-armed QB for 5 weeks. They had a newer and stronger version on the bench, who was a 1st round pick and had starting experience. Kyle has completely lifted, not only a team, but an entire organization out of the depths of atrociousness, where mediocrity was an improvement. There is no comparison between our Shanny and ol’ fish lips over there. I can’t stand it!!! There i’ve vented.

    1. Nothing to do with his coaching ability, because he is a great coach but, IMO Sean Payton looks like a Tranny that just woke up at 1pm in the afternoon and took off his club clothes from the night before but forgot to wipe off his lipstick.

    2. I’m going to go to the 49ers vs Saints game in NOLA on 12/8. I think I’ll make a sign that reads, “Hey Sean – wipe off your lipstick and eyeliner.”

        1. I’m really trying to work out a schedule that weekend so I can make the Saints game. My son attends LSU and there’s a chance LSU could make the SEC Championship game which is in Atlanta on 12/7. I know he and his friends will want to go. So I’m thinking of taking a group to Atlanta and then catching an early Sunday flight to NOLA and trying to get there in time to tailgate for the 49er game. BUT thats a hell of a schedule for an old man like me. If it comes down to it, I’ll send them to Atlanta and I’ll go to NOLA.

        1. Got it covered. Prime, you are a lawyer right? Houston , a Texan, could be good for a few sidearms. Leo, how are you fixed for cash?

  14. I hope the Niner front 4 can collapse the pocket, and get a hand in the air to tip a pass for an interception, while disrupting his line of sight.

  15. The most important key to victory is avoiding turnovers.
    Second, continue to avoid penalties.
    Third, play your game.
    Fourth, see #1 above.

        1. Sorry, that was my catfish. He actually does have some good advice, trying to emulate me.
          .
          I agree. I hope the Niners impose their will on the opposition.

  16. This will be Shanahans 40th game as the 49ers head coach. This will be the 11th time in history a head coach has reached this milestone with the organization.
    Most recent was Mike Singletary
    Who was fired after his 40th game.

    Shanahan currently is 17-22
    Singletary 18-22

    1. I really wish I had this confidence but I don’t. Home dogs cover a high % of the time. Spread right now is 49ers (-10). I’m going to have to go 49ers win 27-20 with a very late backdoor cover by the Cards.

  17. End of the day the key to winning this one is pretty simple. Turn up ready to play. If the 49ers are fired up and ready, skill and scheme should get the win.

  18. 4 of 36 3rd down conversions by opposing offenses against Scarlet Fever, and forcing an average of 20 punts per contest.

  19. JR Sweezy now a guard for Cardinals. Niners should look out for their ankles. Ask Williams, former Niner DT; a chop block while playing against JR ended Williams’s career.

  20. Wishnowsky recovers a fumble on a Cardinal punt return and scores after stiff arming two would-be tacklers, and dragging a third across the goal line.

  21. I wish some of you would cut Grant some slack. It’s not like he’s a former player. It’s not like he’s a former coach, at any level, including but not limited to mighty midgets. It’s not like he has any experience with football, other than maybe, just maybe playing mattel electric football as a not long ago youngster. He’s a former JV soccer player and track participant at DLSHS. Good for him. Participation is important. Leave the little guy alone.
    I do agree however that he needs to upgrade his wardrobe for his podcasts and other ventures into the public. He currently looks like he shops in the women’s department at Target. Sorry Jordan, stole that line.

    Back to football. Tonights game is not that difficult. Revenge will be the story tonight. Let’s make some money.

    Take the Niners to cover the 10 1/2, along with the over (43.5)

    SF 34 ARI 17

    Happy Halloween! Have fun folks!

  22. K’won Alexander torn pectoral. Out 6-8 weeks.
    .
    I always felt Lynch should coax Shanahan to drop Buckner into coverage and play behind the line more. He may finally listen to my advice.

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