Game Overview ::
By Mike johnson >>
- David Blough will make another start at quarterback for the Cardinals.
- The 49ers are currently the 2-seed in the NFC and could end up as high as the #1 or as low as the #3.
- The 49ers dominated the first meeting between these two teams a few weeks ago and are 5-0 in games with Brock Purdy at quarterback.
- San Francisco has significant advantages on both sides of the ball and is likely to control what should be a low tempo game.
How Arizona Will Try To Win ::
The Cardinals season is lost and many key players are out for them already. David Blough will make his second consecutive start after a fine performance in Week 17 against a much less intimidating Falcons defense. As Hilow discussed last week, the Cardinals offense doesn’t really change much regardless of who the quarterback is. They throw the ball on roughly 60% of their offensive plays and their scheme is more horizontal than vertical, with a low yards per attempt in the passing game and a methodical running game that lacks explosive plays. We should expect much of the same here, as head coach Kliff Kingsbury is embattled amid rumors he may step down from the Cardinals or, more likely, be let go as the team has many internal issues they are dealing with. The 49ers defense presents a very tough challenge and dominated the Cardinals in their first matchup despite the presence of Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins, who will both miss this game. The Cardinals should once again have a spread offense that plays with mixed tempos but consistently short area concepts in the passing game while trying to create running lanes through their spread formations. Against a top-notch 49ers run defense trying to lock in home field advantage through at least the divisional round of the playoffs, this task looks like a tough one for a lame duck Cardinals offense. The stout nature of San Francisco’s run defense will likely keep Arizona from moving the ball at all on the ground, which will leave Blough in a lot of third-and-long situations that will be difficult to convert.
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