Cardinals vs. SF 49ers: 5 battles to watch in 2020 season opener

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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Larry Fitzgerald, Emmanuel Moseley, SF 49ers, Arizona Cardinals
Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona Cardinals and cornerback Emmanuel Moseley #41 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /

SF 49ers Battle No. 1: Emmanuel Moseley vs. DeAndre Hopkins

The addition of DeAndre Hopkins this offseason makes Arizona’s Air-Raid offense all the more prolific, as the three-time first-team All-Pro could be arguably the greatest receiving threat San Francisco faces this season.

And the Niners get to face him twice a year at least.

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If Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury is smart, he won’t line up Hopkins against the 49ers’ No. 1 cornerback, Richard Sherman, this Sunday. Instead, Hopkins will likely be on the weak side of the formation, going up against the presumed No. 2 boundary cornerback, Emmanuel Moseley.

Moseley, who started here for both the NFC Championship game and Super Bowl last year, figures to be the starter once more at least to begin 2020.

On the positive side, Moseley’s overall body of work in 2019, despite one lone-but-massive Super Bowl gaffe, was impressive enough to suggest he’s worthy of starting a full season in this stead in 2020.

But it’ll be a tall order going up against Hopkins on Sunday, especially as Kingsbury looks to integrate his new offensive weapon while pairing him with Kyler Murray as much as possible.

Simply put, Moseley will be tasked with quite the responsibility right out of the gate.

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The 49ers and Cardinals kick off on Sunday, Sept. 13 at 4:25 p.m. ET from Levi’s Stadium.