4 Cardinals weaknesses 49ers must attack in Week 5

George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /
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George Kittle, Budda Baker, San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals
San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (85) knocks over Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker (32) Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports /

42. Fox. Sunday, Oct. 10. 4-0. Cardinals -5.5. 4:25 p.m. ET. 2-2. 32

The 49ers will have a tough challenge trying to upset the Cardinals in Week 5, but these four redbird weaknesses present an opportunity.

There’s a pretty reasonable chance only a handful of analysts and experts out there thought the Arizona Cardinals would be the NFL’s last remaining undefeated team through four weeks. Sure, it might have been safe to assume one of the NFC West squads, perhaps even the San Francisco 49ers, would be both atop the division and potentially among the ranks of the undefeated.

Instead, at a perfect 4-0, it’s the Cardinals who hold those claims.

The 2-2 Niners, coming off back-to-back losses against the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks, should feel the desperation. Another divisional loss would make a shot at an NFC West title a distant hope this season.

Now, having to take to the road and knock off the league’s No. 1 offense is what’s facing head coach Kyle Shanahan and Co.

There are some ways to do it, however, and San Francisco would be wise to exploit these four specific Cardinals weaknesses in Week 5.

No. 4: 49ers must test George Kittle on Budda Baker again

Remember back in 2019 when tight end George Kittle found himself frequently matched up against Cardinals safety Budda Baker?

Well, that went Kittle’s way until the All-Pro had to exit the game with ribs and ankle injuries.

Kittle is still banged up entering Week 5 with a calf injury, yet matching him up against Baker is something the 49ers need to do and win at. Yes, Baker is still one of the league’s better defensive backs, and one could make the argument he’s the top option within Arizona’s secondary. At the same time, though, Baker has allowed five receptions on seven targets this year for 57 yards and a touchdown, opposing quarterbacks posting a 135.1 passer rating when targeting him, per Pro Football Focus.

True, Kittle has been off to something of a slow start this year with just 227 receiving yards and no touchdowns through four games.

Given the history, though, Week 5 needs to be a game where Kittle makes his mark once more.