The 49ers want to stay undefeated as they host the Cardinals in Week 4, but this looks to be a classic trap game.
The San Francisco 49ers face a formidable opponent within the NFC West division in Week 4 versus the 1-2 Arizona Cardinals, who have been something of a thorn in the side of head coach Kyle Shanahan the last few years.
If quarterback Brock Purdy and Co. look to remain undefeated, they need to be ready for the Cardinals this Sunday at Levi's Stadium.
Over the last 10 games between these two teams, the Niners have split results going 5-5 in those contests. San Francisco won both bouts in 2019 and in 2022, but Arizona did the same in 2018 and 2021.
Additionally, Arizona is fresh off its upset of the Dallas Cowboys, which few saw coming, winning 28-16. The Cardinals could easily carry that momentum into Levi's Stadium come Sunday afternoon as the 49ers look to avoid having their first loss of the year.
And one within the division would never be ideal.
Close games build character and help forge an identity. While the undefeated Niners have put up 30 points in each of its three contests, the Cardinals have only been outscored by a total of seven points in their two losses.
Purdy has picked up where he left off from last year with a 67-percent completion rate, 736 yards thrown and four touchdowns. Despite Cardinals quarterback Joshua Dobbs having almost 200 fewer yards and only half as many touchdowns, his completion percentage is higher at 72 percent.
While the 49ers' defense has been impressive thus far, the Cardinals' defense has some impressive stats, too. San Francisco has a plus-4 turnover differential, while Arizona's is plus-3. In addition, the Cardinals have 11 sacks already on the season, which ranks second in the NFC and fifth overall.
If the Niners look to avoid their first defeat of 2023 and first loss in the NFC West, they must look to capitalize on getting ahead early and maintaining solid ball control to not give turnovers to that Arizona defense.
Both teams square off this Sunday, Oct. 1 at 4:25 p.m. ET.