Arizona Cardinals vs San Francisco 49ers: Preview, prediction

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The Arizona Cardinals return to University of Phoenix Stadium for a match up against the San Francisco 49ers.

The Arizona Cardinals return for an NFC West showdown with the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers (1-1) got routed by the Steelers in a visit to Heinz Field, 43-18 . On the other hand, the Arizona Cardinals (2-0) routed the Chicago Bears, 48-23, in a visit to Soldier Field.

History: The Cardinals and the 49ers have faced each other 47 times in the regular season, with the Cardinals playing 13 of these games as the St. Louis Cardinals and 2 of these as the Chicago Cardinals. The Arizona Cardinals have an all time 18-29 record against the San Francisco 49ers. The latest win against the 49ers came in Week 3 of last season. The Arizona Cardinals won by a score of 23-14 in a great performance by back up Drew Stanton, filling in for Carson Palmer, who threw for 244 yards and 2 touchdowns.

What: Arizona Cardinals vs San Francisco 49ers

Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ

When: 1:05 PM Arizona Time (4:05 PM EST)


Radio: Arizona Sports 98.7 FM

Keys to victory:

The headline of this season has been the play of quarterback of Carson Palmer. Many news outlets including ESPN and Fox Sports have been praising his play since returning from his ACL injury. With 7 touchdown passes to his credit so far this season, expect Palmer to continue his aerial attack against a 49ers defense that got scorched by Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers offense. If his first 2 games are any indicators as to how the offense will perform, the Cardinals offense will be more than fine.

The Cardinals run game so far has been nothing to complain about so far. With Ellington sitting out due to injury, Chris Johnson has been steady in his first start against the Bears, where he ran for 72 yards on 20 carries against the Bears. David Johnson has been out of this world good so far this season, and is expected to see his workload increase this game. The 49ers weren’t able to contain DeAngelo Williams last week, it’ll be an opportune time for Johnson & Johnson to put big numbers on the board.

Thanks to Carson Palmer, the wide receivers have been able to perform to the best of their abilities so far. Fitzgerald had a big game last week against the Bears (112 yards, 3 TDs) while John Brown has been quiet but consistent and is waiting for the breakout game we all expect him to have. Against a 49ers secondary defense that is suspect, the wide receivers should stuff the stat sheet.

The most pleasant surprise so far this season has been the play of the offensive line. Through 2 games this season, the offensive line has allowed no sacks on Carson Palmer. This is huge since it has give Palmer time to find open receivers and even throw up a deep ball. Both Mike Iupati and Bobby Massie are set to return this week, and some changes will need to be considered. While Iupati will most likely be put in as the starter, the same can’t be said of Bobby Massie. Earl Watford, Massies’s replacement, has played exceptionally well and it doesn’t make sense to fix something that isn’t broken. We most likely won’t find out who starts until game time.