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.