If you are looking at the game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals from the 49ers perspective, this is a week to truly make a statement about the franchise. Had someone said this would be a 3-2 team after week five in the NFL season following a Super Bowl appearance, many would have laughed loudly. The season has not been kind of the NFC team and now they face an Arizona team that is 3-2 on the season and has a pretty stellar secondary.
A win for the Niners will put them at 4-2 and 2-1 in the conference after six games, in what many people thought could be a very poor start. The loss would drop the Cardinals, a division foe, to 3-3 overall while putting them at 0-2 in the division.
Both losses for the Cardinals have come on the road where they will be once again this week as they travel to San Francisco. The Cardinals have become very turnover prone as Carson Palmer has thrown five interceptions in his last two contests.
I am predicting the Cardinals shock the world and take this one, 26-19.
Here are three bold predictions for this game.
Kaepernick’s tumble continues
I think the Cardinals rise to the occasion. The best way to get the 49ers quarterback to seem disassociated is to make him stay in the pocket long enough to collapse the pocket around him. The pass rush of the defense is good enough to do that.
If the 49ers are forced to rely solely on Kaepernick’s legs, it means the receivers are being blanketed by the Arizona secondary.
It’s Mathieu’s time
This is the game Tyrann Mathieu makes every other team sad they had not drafted him this season. Forget the off-field issues, he is having a great season and playing a team like the 49ers could really put him on the map and maybe for postseason consideration. Mathieu could have three interceptions on Sunday and help in the return game.
Boldin makes bold statement
Anquan Boldin is one of my favorite players.The former FSU grad and second round draft pick should make this game a signature game in some way.
While I think Arizona’s secondary has a hand in shutting down the 49ers passing game, Boldin will still make a statement somehow, maybe a long touchdown play of 70 yards or more. Kaepernick can still have a poor game and have on ESPN highlight moment. Boldin will be on the other end of that.