Arizona Cardinals (0-0) vs San Francisco 49ers (0-0)
Bill Walsh Field at Candlestick Park
1:15 PM (PST)
Is it all downhill from here for the 49ers? Will this be the only time in the season the Red and Gold are at .500 being 0-0? Time will tell, get ready for week one of the NFL season 49er Faithful.
For the third straight season the 49ers and Cardinals open the season playing against each other. Both teams have first round-top ten draft picks holding clipboards on the sidelines with the chances slim of either of them starting this season. J.T. O’Sullivan makes his first NFL career start in an urgent year for the 49ers. The 49er Faithful will learn a lot about O’Sullivan tomorrow as he faces a tough Cardinals secondary. The offense as a whole will show just how much they have grasped the complicated Martz system. Look for WR Isaac Bruce and TE Vernon Davis to get numerous looks from O’Sullivan as Bruce is familiar with the offensive schemes and Davis should be open over the middle with Martz using spread formations. Davis’ speed should exploit LB’s not only in week one but all season. The success of the offense will depend on the o-line and how they have improved from last season. They need to give O’Sullivan the time he needs to find the receivers running precise routes the Martz offense depends on. If the o-line cannot hold up look for a lot of passes thrown away to the sidelines and for O’Sullivan to be pressured and sacked. RB Frank Gore will get his carries and chances to score. The Cardinals strong secondary will focus on the receivers so Gore should get plenty of looks from O’Sullivan as check down receiver.
The defense lead by Defensive Rookie of Year LB Patrick Willis and new DE Justin Smith will be all over Cardinals QB Kurt Warner pressuring him to make mistakes. CB Nate Clements will get his chance to make some big plays as he is tasked with covering Pro-Bowl WR Larry Fitzgerald.
Fantasy Studs of the Game: Frank Gore; Kurt Warner
Gore will have a 100-yard rushing game with at least one rushing TD. He will get lots of looks from O’Sullivan finishing the game with 6 receptions, 50 yards and a possible TD reception.
Warner will get picked off at least once but should have a decent game throwing for 200 yards with one TD.
Predication: 49ers 24 Cardinals 16
The 49ers offense will start out slow but as the game goes on the defense will give the 49ers great field position to allow the offense to score. The Cardinals have plenty of weapons on offense however look for the 49ers D to shut them down as they get inside of the 20 yard line.
Doubtful: QB Alex Smith (shoulder)
Probable: S Michael Lewis (back); TE Delanie Walker (calf); DT Aubrayo Franklin (knee); LB Parys Haralson (shoulder)
Doubtful: DT Alan Branch (ankle); C Al Johnson (knee); DT Gabe Watson (knee)
Questionable: TE Jerame Tuman (hamstring)
Probable: T Mike Gandy (knee); TE Ben Patrick (ankle)