3 favorable matchups for the Cardinals in Week 5 vs. the 49ers

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) James Conner
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) James Conner /
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Arizona Cardinals
(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) Chase Edmonds /

Cardinals running game vs. 49ers defense

The Cardinals’ running game arrives once again, against a 49ers run defense that ranked 17th in the league following the first three weeks of the season. The 49ers, even without former defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, boast one of the league’s top defensive units coming into Week 5. At least in yards allowed.

However, their running game, at best, is inconsistent, having surrendered 4.5 yards per attempt on 106 rushes to start the season. And while the Cardinals have had a tough time getting the running game going in the first three weeks of the season, it broke out, at least for a game, in Week 4.

Chase Edmonds especially had a good outing, logging 120 yards on 12 attempts, good for 10 yards per carry. However, Edmonds remains on the injury list, so it’s uncertain as to whether he will play on Sunday.

James Conner pitched in with 50 rushing yards and two touchdowns, while Kyler Murray showed what he can do with his legs, rushing for a season-high 39 yards. If Edmonds can’t go, look for either Jonathan Ward or Eno Benjamin to pitch in.

Overall, the Cardinals running game has been near the top of the league in 2021, even if their yards per attempt stagnated on a week-to-week basis. They currently rank sixth in the league with 546 yards, 4.4. yards per carry, and seven rushing touchdowns. Look for the trend to continue against San Francisco.