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 Harry How/Getty Images) Marco Wilson /

Cardinals pass defense vs. 49ers offense

As predicted, incumbent starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has split time with rookie Trey Lance. However, Garroppolo left the game in Week 4 against the Seahawks, allowing Lance to see some extended playing time. And despite throwing two touchdown passes and posting a 117.1 quarterback rating, Lance’s overall numbers are a little deceptive.

In 2021, he has completed just over 52 percent of his passes, and he was a meager 9 for 18 against the Seahawks. If Lance sees extended playing time against the Cardinals, who rank 11th in passing defense, don’t expect anywhere near the same kind of outing.

Before his injury, Garoppolo struggled against a meager Seahawks’ passing defense, posting just a 79.1 quarterback rating and completing just under 61 percent of his passes. Lance is getting the nod, but don’t expect it to be a curveball for the Cardinals’ passing defense, but an opportunity.

To make matters better for the Cardinals, they have allowed a scoring percentage of just 28.9 percent, which ranks fifth in the NFL. Regardless of who’s starting at quarterback, expect the Cardinals to take advantage of the stagnant Lance.

The downside is that the Cardinals may find themselves without two of their top three corners in Byron Murphy and Marco Wilson. But given Lance’s spotty accuracy, the passing defense still matches favorably.