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Week 17: Arizona Cardinals At San Francisco 49ers

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 01: Darnell Dockett #90 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates after he sacked Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
(credit: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(credit: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
The Cardinals have little to offer. Ryan Lindley had decent numbers against the Bears, but he was simply dreadful as he missed open receivers repeatedly. The Cardinals went to Brian Hoyer, but he is not the answer either. Ken Whisenhunt knows that his team does not have a chance in this game unless the 49ers implode.
Winner Colin Kaepernick learned that it’s not so easy to go on the road and beat an inspired opponent in the Week 16 blowout loss to Seattle. No such problem this week against the putrid Cardinals. Kaepernick will not be under pressure to score with every possession against Arizona. He will get protection from his line and he should be able to pick Arizona apart.
The Cardinals’ offensive line has been awful and that’s something that’s going to take quite a while for this organization to fix. The Cardinals got a solid performance from running back Beanie Wells in Week 15 vs. the Lions, but his fumble in Week 16 gave the Bears their first touchdown and started the Arizona downfall. Larry Fitzgerald can threaten the San Francisco secondary.
Winner The 49ers have a solid running game and that’s still the most dependable aspect of their offense. Frank Gore runs with power and punishes opposing tacklers. Gore has rushed for 1,146 yards and has an average of 4.8 yards per carry. The Niners could be in trouble since Mario Manningham was carted off the field with a knee injury and tight end Vernon Davis suffered a concussion against Seattle.
The Cardinals are solid against the pass but they are weak against the run. Linebacker Daryl Washington is a remarkable player who leads the team with 123 tackles and he also has 9.0 sacks. Defensive end Calais Campbell has a disappointing 5.5 sacks but he has batted down six passes.
Winner The 49ers got pierced by Russell Wilson and the Seahawks, but look for a turnaround here. This unit is too good not to turn it around quickly. Aldon Smith is one of the best pass rushers in the league and he has 19.5 sacks. NaVorro Bowman may be the fastest linebacker in the league and he has a team-high 144 tackles.
Special Teams
Winner Jay Feely has a big leg and can hit field goals from as long as 60 yards. Dave Zastudil is a competent punter. Peterson has explosive speed and return ability, but he has not brought a punt back for a score. Kick returner William Powell is averaging 24.1 yards per return with a long of 65 yards.
David Akers has missed more than his share of FG attempts. Akers has a big leg and he can hit the long kicks, but he does not always keep them on track. He has made 27-of-38 FG attempts this season. Andy Lee is averaging 48.3 yards as a punter.

The Winner Is

(credit: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Winner 49ers
3 out of 4

The 49ers need to win this game in order to hold off the Seahawks and win the NFC West. While the Niners may be in the process of choking, it won’t show against the Cardinals, who are one of the worst teams in the NFL.


  1. MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 9: Quarterback Brock Osweiler #17 of the Houston Texans drops back to pass during the first quarter of the game on October 9, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 13:  Trevor Siemian #13 of the Denver Broncos warms up before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on October 13, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Week 7 Tale Of The Tape: Houston Texans At Denver Broncos

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  2. SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 16:  Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks passes against the Atlanta Falcons at CenturyLink Field on October 16, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 17:  Quarterback Carson Palmer #3 of the Arizona Cardinals looks to make a pass against the New York Jets in the first half of the NFL game at University of Phoenix Stadium on October 17, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
    Week 7 Tale Of The Tape: Seattle Seahawks At Arizona Cardinals

    The Seahawks face their NFC West foe on the road as the Cardinals look to get above .500 for the first time this season.

  3. FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 16:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots prepares to receive a snap during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Gillette Stadium on October 16, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Quarterback  Landry Jones #3 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws a pass during warm ups before playing against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
    Week 7 Tale Of The Tape: New England Patriots At Pittsburgh Steelers

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