The Arizona Cardinals come to town after two wins in a row facing a 49er team that has all but clinched the division. While first priority is to win the 49ers must also use this game and the upcoming games to better prepare themselves for the playoffs. Each team will offer new challenges that will help the 49ers prepare for the playoffs. The Cardinals allow the 49ers a great opportunity for them to improve in the deep game.
Last week the 49ers worked on the passing game with Quarterback Alex Smith thanks to the Giants overloading the box. Alex and the 49ers coaching staff used this to work in the short and medium routes in the passing tree and Alex excelled in this game plan. With the Cardinals they have been prone to giving up the deep ball and having breakdowns in their defensive coverage’s. So this week should allow Alex and his receivers an opportunity to connect on the deep ball this has been a struggle so far this year. In years past Alex has been very good on the deep seam pass to Tight end Vernon Davis so getting back on track should not be very difficult.
The 49ers will be tested on defense and it will be the deep ball. The defense has given up a few long balls and the Cardinals have connected on several long pass plays this season. WR Larry Fitzgerald is one of the best in the game and his vertical game is second to none. This will be a great challenge for the Defensive backs and should help them get better prepared for the playoffs. The 49ers will face teams in the playoffs with much better QBs then what the Cards can offer but to stay with Fitz will serve them well.
Over the final seven games the 49ers can set up for a very successful playoff run by using the games to challenge themselves to get better. This week’s test should be the deep game.
By Mike Zamora