5 teams that could stand in the way of 49ers Super Bowl hopes

Mason Crosby #2 of the Green Bay Packers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Mason Crosby #2 of the Green Bay Packers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk (13) Mandatory Credit: Imagn Images /

49ers Challenger No. 3: Arizona Cardinals

In our final 49ers game-predictions piece of the year, the Cardinals are the team the Niners wind up facing in the Wild Card round, prompted by Arizona finishing third in the NFC and San Francisco finishing seventh.

Consider it lofty, but we have the 49ers pulling off a road victory in that one, not too far-fetched considering the Cardinals’ 3-3 record at home at State Farm Stadium and the seemingly unavoidable reality head coach Kliff Kingsbury falls apart down the stretch.

This time, into the postseason.

That said, Arizona still poses a legitimate threat to whatever the Niners would want to do in the playoffs. Already having lost to the Cardinals twice during regular-season showdowns this year, and going 1-1 a year ago, San Francisco easily lacks the secondary-coverage firepower to adequately match up against wide receivers DeAndre Hopkins, Christian Kirk and A.J. Green.

If anything, those three have made Kingsbury’s life so much easier, as has quality play from quarterback Kyler Murray.

The Cardinals would love nothing more than to end the 49ers’ season with a third victory in a single campaign, the final one sending the Niners home until spring of 2022.