49ers vs. Cardinals: 4 edges San Francisco now has in Week 9
By Peter Panacy
Edge No. 3: 49ers won’t have to deal with J.J. Watt
Say what you want about his injury history, and it’s certainly unfortunate his first year in Arizona came to a premature close after dealing with so many recent headaches with the Houston Texans in previous years.
But EDGE J.J. Watt was an absolute force against the 49ers when these two teams met last back in Week 5.
Pro Football Focus gave Watt an impressive 81.7 overall grade that game, crediting him with six total quarterback pressures, four quarterback hits, three tackles and one pass batted down at the line of scrimmage. Not surprisingly, the Cardinals lined Watt up opposite Niners right tackle Mike McGlinchey a lot during that game, and McGlinchey subsequently posted one of the worst games of his 2021 campaign in the effort, surrendering four of those pressures, two hits and a quarterback sack.
Now, Watt is likely out for the year with a shoulder injury. McGlinchey doesn’t have to worry about his presence anymore.
Granted, fellow EDGE Chandler Jones is still a prolific pass-rusher. But San Francisco still has to feel much better about its pass-protection prospects for this Week 8 bout with Watt now out of the fray.