3 reasons why SF 49ers lose Week 1 bout to Cardinals

Wide receiver Pharoh Cooper #12 of the Arizona Cardinals (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Wide receiver Pharoh Cooper #12 of the Arizona Cardinals (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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Kenyan Drake, Arizona Cardinals
Running back Kenyan Drake #41 of the Arizona Cardinals tackled by defensive back K’Waun Williams #24 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

The SF 49ers are looking to repeat as NFC champions. But their first game against the Arizona Cardinals could also be their first loss of 2020.

The SF 49ers are set to begin the 2020 season under the most unique circumstances anyone has ever seen. With no fans in Levi’s Stadium, the defending NFC champs will take on the Arizona Cardinals to begin the year.

As we look ahead to this already important NFC West matchup, we’ll take a quick look at last season’s meetings between these two. The SF 49ers won both games in three weeks.

Though neither victories were cakewalks.

It was a battle between the first two picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, as the Cardinals quarterback, Kyler Murray, went up against Niners defensive lineman Nick Bosa. Both rookies proved their worth on their respective teams, as both franchises saw incredible growth from their stars.

In the first meeting on Oct. 31, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and Murray went toe-to-toe. Both throwing two or more touchdowns while each eclipsed 200 yards passing.

But Garoppolo and the Niners got the best of the Cardinals in a 28-25 finish.

Two weeks later, it was the Deebo Samuel show. The rookie wide receiver had eight receptions for 134 yards as the SF 49ers put up 19 points in the fourth quarter. The win was San Francisco’s ninth of the season and guaranteed the team would finish the year above .500 for the first time since 2013.

But as we know, 2019 is in the rearview mirror. The 49ers will want to start the year on the right foot, but the Cardinals aren’t the same team from last year.

And one of the first reasons the SF 49ers could take the loss on Sunday in Week 1 is because of Murray.