The Arizona Cardinals come to town Sunday for their annual Candlestick shellacking. They have not won a game here since September 7, 2008. That was their Kurt Warner led Super Bowl run year. They have been in a freefall since, with their only victory against the 49ers coming at home on December 11, 2011 when recently released QB John Skelton got the heave-ho-what-do-you-know hots in the 4th quarter and caught the sleeping team by surprise with a couple of late TDs. It was one of only three losses for the 2011 Niners.
Arizona’s new HC, Bruce Arians, rode Andrew Luck’s brilliance and the illness of Indy’s HC Chuck Pagano, which resulted in Bruce’s 9-3 gig as interim HC, to the HC job in AZ, replacing Ken Whisenhunt, who finally ran out of luck riding ex-QB Kurt Warner’s brilliance. It’s better to be lucky than good. Or at least we hope that it was more on the luck side than the good side. The team will get their first clue Sunday.
In the past, 49er WR Michael Crabtree has OWNED superstar AZ CB Patrick Peterson, but Crabtree won’t be here Sunday, meaning Peterson will be hounding Anquan Boldin. He could fare quite a bit better against Boldin. That would leave us with the usual cast of Vernon Davis and the revolving door of Nobodies to fashion some kind of passing attack. Not a cheery thought.
In fact, this is probably another game that the defense needs to lead the way, along with Frank Gore. Not that AZ QB Carson Palmer isn’t capable of helping us out, a la Matt Schaub. Palmer averages about two ints per game. Maybe he’ll make it a special night and toss four of them.
With Peterson on Boldin and anybody with two legs covering Jon Baldwin or Kyle Williams, it looks like we’ll need some big receptions from Vernon and fellow TE Vance McDonald. You know the Cards are going to pack the box to stop Gore. Not that Gore will be stopped by that tactic. But it puts Cards rookie FS Tyrann Mathieu one on one with VD. Surely, the young lad will lose that battle a few times.
The Arizona defense is a pretty good group, so unless Palmer goes int happy, this will likely be a low scoring, trench warfare kind of game. How thrilling. Jim Harbaugh said this week that the 49ers’ young receivers were coming along nicely. It’s not known how many stifled titters or rolled eyeballs greeted this bit of happy balderdash.
It’s okay, Jim. Rattle on. Just make sure you keep posting those W’s each week and you can say anything you want.