Week 4 at Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals failed to address one of their more pressing needs in the NFL Draft — a replacement for quarterback Carson Palmer.
Palmer’s injury history is concerning, and the Cardinals seem to be trending in the wrong direction as he ages. One injury to the veteran quarterback could spell disaster.
Still, the Arizona defense is very good and got even stronger within the secondary by adding safety Budda Baker. He’ll help alleviate the loss of safety Tony Jefferson, who left via free agency.
Pairing linebacker Haason Reddick with EDGE Chandler Jones is downright scary.
Arizona underachieved last year en route to a 7-8-1 record, but at least the defense remains a force.
Why San Francisco Wins
Again, a low-scoring game would be the only way the 49ers sniff a victory here. While not as problematic as playing on the road in Seattle, the Niners haven’t had much luck in Arizona as of late.
If San Francisco does win, it will be on the back of its defense. Palmer tossed 14 interceptions last year, and the Cardinals turned the ball over 28 times.
Why Arizona Wins
It’s still early in the season, so we probably should assume Palmer is as healthy as he can be. And wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald should still be fresh, and he’s tormented Niners defensive backs for years. This is a problem too, since the 49ers don’t have a clear-cut answer at nickel.
Fitzgerald and running back David Johnson combine for big games, and Arizona’s defense snuffs out any hope of getting the Niners offense going.