No. 3: Can 49ers avoid Cardinals CB Byron Murphy?
George Kittle coming back isn’t the only advantage either team will have on Sunday, as the Cardinals are going to be able to field their top cornerback, Byron Murphy, who actually missed the Week 5 game with an injury.
The Niners were nevertheless able to take advantage of Murphy’s absence in that bout, scoring just 10 points in a game that featured rookie quarterback Trey Lance instead of their starter, Jimmy Garoppolo, who’ll also be making his versus-Arizona debut this season.
Garoppolo’s top target, wide receiver Deebo Samuel, figures to be Murphy’s primary focus during the game.
Samuel currently leads not only San Francisco with 819 receiving yards but also ranks second best in that category across the entire NFL. In contrast, though, Murphy already has eight passes broken up and three interceptions over seven games this season, and opposing quarterbacks are posting just a 77.7 passer rating when targeting him.
Simply put, Murphy is a key deterrent for Garoppolo, yet he’ll still need to involve Samuel as much as possible on Sunday.