Game Overview ::
By mike johnson >>
- These teams rank 26th and 31st in the NFL in tempo while also ranking 24th and 31st in the league in pass rate over expectation (PROE).
- San Francisco has scored 30+ points in eight of their nine regular season games since Brock Purdy stepped in for Jimmy Garoppolo last season.
- The 49ers defense has been dominant once again this season, making life exceedingly difficult on their opponents.
- Arizona has been surprisingly competitive to start the season as they play a controlled and conservative style on both sides of the ball that relies on their opponents making mistakes.
- The Cardinals have outscored their opponents by 28 points during the first three quarters of their games so far this year.
How arizona Will Try To Win ::
The Cardinals were written off by many people, myself included, entering this season after several offseason moves appeared to signal a focus on 2024. New coach Jonathan Gannon, however, has had other plans as he has his squad playing motivated and disciplined football. The Cardinals have been 7-point road underdogs, 6-point home underdogs, and 11-point home underdogs through the first three weeks of the season but have managed to outscore their opponents 65-37 prior to the fourth quarter in those outings. While they have only managed a 1-2 record, this performance during the early portions of the games highlights how well prepared they have been and that their scheme is one that takes some time for opponents to crack.
As we enter Week 4, it is the same story but a different week for the Cardinals. Heavy underdogs (14 points) on the road and everyone expecting them to be run over. This week’s task, however, does seem like a different animal completely as they face a 49ers team that is almost certainly the best offense they have faced so far this season in terms of both personnel and scheme, while also boasting one of the league’s top defensive units. Said another way, the Cardinals have had some success against middling and/or injury riddled teams but are now facing another class of opponent. The Cardinals don’t really have another trick in their bag, however, so we should expect their approach and game plan for this game to look the same as their past games. They will use Josh Dobbs to create yards on the ground and the threat of his legs to hold linebackers for running lanes for James Conner. Rondale Moore had a long rushing touchdown in Week 3 and his speed and burst is a perfect changeup from Conner’s bruising style, so we should expect more use of him on the ground and other creative ways to create confusion in the defense and try to sustain drives. Arizona will take some calculated downfield shots as well, but those will be reserved for down and distance situations (think second and short) where the defense is selling out to stop the run and Dobbs is able to take a predetermined shot targeting a specific matchup. Ultimately, the Cardinals need to rely on their defense keeping San Francisco’s scoring in check so that they can maintain their offensive style that takes such good care of the ball and limits what it asks of Dobbs.