49ers-Cardinals preview: San Francisco, C.J. Beathard get “do-over” in Week 8

San Francisco 49ers QB C.J. Beathard (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
San Francisco 49ers QB C.J. Beathard (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images) /
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San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals Week 8 preview
San Francisco 49ers QB C.J. Beathard (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images) /

Three weeks after handing the Arizona Cardinals their lone victory of 2018, QB C.J. Beathard and the San Francisco 49ers get their opportunity for revenge on Sunday. Niner Noise previews the 49ers’ Week 8 rematch, including key stats, players to watch, X-factors, injury news and how to watch the game live.

Less than a month ago, the San Francisco 49ers hosted the winless Arizona Cardinals in a game the Niners were expected to dominate. The home team did not disappoint, as the 49ers dominated the Cardinals in virtually every statistical category — except in the turnover department.

San Francisco’s second-year quarterback C.J. Beathard learned that throwing for a career-high 349 passing yards is relatively meaningless when you also turn the ball over a career-high four times. With running back Raheem Mostert adding another fumble, the 49ers were unable to overcome their -5 turnover differential, as they fell to an inferior Arizona team by a two-score margin.

Check out Niner Noise’s game recap and post-game grades and analysis from the 49ers’ previous matchup with the Cardinals.

Luckily, the Niners will have their chance at redemption on Sunday when they travel to Arizona for a rematch with their divisional rival. Week 8 marks the beginning of an important three-week stretch for San Francisco, as each of their next three opponents has managed just a single win over the 2018 season.

The 49ers desperately need to kick off a winning streak today, particularly after failing to meet their lofty preseason expectations through the first seven weeks of the season. While head coach Kyle Shanahan and the rest of San Francisco’s coaching staff have proven to be surprisingly effective in keeping team morale high during long losing streaks, each loss increases the chances of eventual locker room turmoil.

Losing to the NFL’s worst teams essentially makes you one of the NFL’s worst teams. Owner Jed York — after moving the stadium far from San Francisco — quickly learned that if the 49ers can’t give “The Faithful” something to cheer for, then fans simply won’t make the weekly trek to an expensive Levi’s Stadium.

The San Francisco 49ers’ franchise needs a victory on Sunday. In order to win, Beathard needs to produce like an NFL-caliber quarterback — and he needs to protect the ball. While the turnover-prone QB’s leash has remained long, Shanahan’s love affair with his 2017 draftee will eventually come to an end if Beathard keeps losing games to inferior opponents.

Let’s break down some important statistics for the San Francisco 49ers’ eighth game of the 2018 NFL regular season: