Thursday night NFC WEST divisional matchup between the hosts San Francisco 49ers and the visitors Arizona Cardinals is a MUST WIN for both teams!!!
Both teams are currently at the 1-3 record and the game on Thursday will be a perfect chance to bounce back and regain the momentum and confidence for the upcoming games.
The San Francisco 49ers are entering the match after suffering a third consecutive loss, falling short to the Dallas Cowboys 17-24 at home last Sunday. Although their poor performances at the start of the season is expected, the 49-ers will try to avoid a 4th consecutive loss and still keep the slightest hopes of making the playoffs. However the home team will expect much more from their QB Blaine Gabbert, who thus far, has not been very productive, throwing for only 728 yards, along with 4 TD and 4 picks. He might the biggest reason why the 49-ers have struggled offensively. On the other side, the San Francisco 49-ers defense has suffered a blow in the last game as their linebacker NaVorro Bowman went down with an Achilles injury, and according to the latest news he might be done for the season. Bowman was the guy that the entire 49-ers relied on and with him out the 49-ers rush defense could only get worse. The 49-ers are currently at the very bottom in defending against the run (140.5 YPG).
That is exactly where the visiting team, the Arizona Cardinals, will try to attack and come out on top at the end of the game. Namely, besides suffering a home loss last week to the Los Angeles Rams (13-17), the Cardinals starting QB Carson Palmer left the game late in the last period after suffering a concussion and as of right now, he is questionable for the match.
“We will be very, very careful with Carson Palmer”, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians told the reporters.
With Palmer down, the Cardinals will look to win the game placing Drew Stanton at the QB. Stanton had replaced Palmer on Sunday, throwing just 4-11, out of which he threw 2 interceptions late in the game. Considering the fact that Stanton has struggled as a starting QB, throwing only 12 TDs and 16 interceptions in his career, the Cardinals are expected to rely on their running game on Thursday night. While the Cardinals offense has not been great, averaging only 23 points per game (ranked 14th), their defense has been decent, conceding 20 points on average (ranked 12th).
San Francisco 49-ers: NaVorro Bowman (Achilles), Anthony Davis (concussions), Thaddeus Lewis (knee), Ray-Ray Armstrong (pectoral), Vance McDonald (hip), Bruce Ellington (hamstring), Jimmie Ward (quad), Aaron Lynch (suspension), Will Redmond (ACL).
Arizona Cardinals: Carson Palmer (concussion), Frostee Rucker (knee), Mike Jenkins (Knee), Chris Johnson (groin), Drew Butler (ankle), Elie Bouka (ankle), Robert Nkemdiche (ankle).
Regardless if Palmer plays on Thursday night or not, the Arizona Cardinals will have the upper hand in this match and should bounce back from their loss on Sunday and take the win against the hosting 49-ers. San Francisco is struggling both offensively and defensively, and especially now with Bowman out, the 49-ers defense will be in much more troubles. Other than their home crowd at the Levi’s Stadium, the 49-ers chances of winning this match are very SLIM.
Both teams have struggled to score this season so far, which means that we could see the score go UNDER (42.5), especially considering the fact that the total has gone UNDER in 5 of the 49-ers last 5 home games.
According to the www.sportsinformationtraders.com the Cardinals are a favorite of winning the game with -2.5.
Game will be played on Thursday night, Oct. 6th, 2016 (8:25 EST).
Location: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, Ca
Words By: Admir Aljic