No. 5: 49ers’ C.J. Beathard vs. Cardinals’ Drew Stanton
The Cardinals are coming off a bye week, which means backup quarterback Drew Stanton will have had an extra week’s worth of preparation for this NFC West showdown.
Stanton is just 5-of-14 on the season with zero touchdowns and an interception for a lowly 21.7 passer rating. A year ago, Stanton did manage to beat San Francisco with two passing touchdowns, although he only threw for 124 yards and completed 11 passes on 28 attempts.
That was when the Niners boasted one of the worst defenses in franchise history, though, so at least this contest should put a bit more pressure on Stanton to come up with some key throws.
On the flip side, rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard hasn’t exactly been stellar. His completion percentage is 52.7 percent — ranked No. 32 in the NFL — which is certainly part of the reason the 49ers made the move to acquire Jimmy Garoppolo.
Beathard isn’t the long-term answer for head coach Kyle Shanahan. But he is going to have to hold the line for the immediate future, as Garoppolo adjusts to the system.
The interesting thing to watch here is how Beathard reacts to this soon-to-be demotion. He’s said all the right things, of course, as seen below:
Let’s see how that translates against a Cardinals defense allowing an average of 246.9 yards per game.