The 49ers host the Cardinals in Week 9, and if the Niners want to get back on track in contention, these five players have to bear key responsibilities.
There’s a key goal for any NFL team on any given week: Be better than the team you’re facing off against on game day.
At 3-4, the San Francisco 49ers can’t claim they’ve done this well enough in 2021. And when looking at the 7-1 Arizona Cardinals, who visit the Niners at Levi’s Stadium in a crucial NFC West showdown in Week 9, it’s probably safe to say head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad should be a massive underdog.
Yet San Francisco might be able to play that simple goal of merely being better than its opponent on game day, hinted by the fact the oddsmakers over at WynnBET are now listing the 49ers as 3-point favorites.
Well, the likelihood of Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (ankle) not being available surely influences that possibility. And while it’s never good to wish injury on any player, Murray potentially being out means the Niners have to contend not with Murray, but rather his backup, Colt McCoy.
An easier proposition for a would-be San Francisco win in Week 9.
Yet there are a number of 49ers players who have to come up big anyway during this contest, including these five who need to bring their A-game in what could prove to be a pivotal NFC West showdown and a game that could help propel Shanahan’s squad back into the playoff discussion.