Arizona Cardinals: Bird Watching – Week 3


What to look for this week as the Cardinals take on the 49ers in Glendale

There’s a lot to be excited about as an Arizona Cardinals fan over the course of the coming weeks, but there needs to be some temperament with that excitement. The Cardinals have beaten two deflated teams, with franchise quarterbacks on the downturn or injured so when Bruce Arians says you, “[aren’t] sh**” you should take note.

Still, the Cardinals bring in an opponent in the San Francisco 49ers who are an enigma of a team. Putting up a good show in Week 1 vs. Minnesota and then getting absolutely shelled by the Steelers in Week 2, its hard to see which team you’ll get once the whistle blows and the game starts.

The 49ers have had some success against the Cardinals, but necessarily at home, where the Cardinals own one of the best home records in the league and win close games in-front of their fans. As one of those fans, what do I expect to see this week?

Johnson & Johnson

No, not a new medical device or prescription, I expect to see Chris Johnson continue to handle the workload, even in Andre Ellington plays, which he is a game time decision, and David Johnson continue to put up touchdowns. Maybe Arians should let DJ play punt returns with J.J. Nelson out so we can add in another TD element to his already impressive resume.

Defense, DE-FENSE

The defense needs to contain Colin Kaepernick, he’s going to run, and he’s going to throw, and they’re going to run as a team, the defense needs to call the right plays at the right time and put pressure on Kaepernick. He isn’t a pressure QB, he’ll run in those cases and can be contained and tackled or sacked. The defense needs to do its job, get off the field, and open up for the…

Sep 20, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller (23) is called for pass interference on a pass intended for Arizona Cardinals wide receiver John Brown (12) during the first half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports


Two weeks in Larry Fitzgerald already has more TDs than last season, so the 49ers, in what ever defense they set up, will be looking for number 11. But the offense isn’t one dimensional, and never has been. John Brown, while not on the stat sheet, contributed 80 yards of offense via pass interferance penalties last weekend. Those were huge as they were turned into touchdowns. It isn’t about catching balls and scoring points, its about being smart and getting the other guy to make a mistake.

Adrian Wilson

It will be nice to see A-Dub back on the field for the home team. While he won’t be playing, his induction into the Ring of Honor will be very emotional for him, and for fans who grew up watching his punishing style of play. Wilson was regarded as one of the best safeties in his day, before him, how many safeties did you see lined up in the box? Halftime will be an important monument in his career and for us as fans.

Prove It Attitude

The Cardinals have been honored in rankings and by pundits who say they’re good, but they haven’t beat anyone very good. The team will get a chance to further prove that they are the real deal by sealing a win. The 49ers are by no means the top crop in the NFL this season, but they are a division rival and play hard. If the Cardinals can take care of business, some doubts will disappear come Monday morning.