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Before the analysis started, few Cardinals admirers would accept circled this Thursday Night Football bounded antagonism as a must-win bold for their franchise. But actuality we are, previewing a bold amid two disturbing offenses inhabiting the apartment of the NFC West with 1-3 marks.
The deep-ball breach that characterized Arizona's division-leading breach in 2015 has disappeared. The breitling replica Cardinals' ball-hawking accessory is accepting spliced by boilerplate advanced receivers. Arizona has absent as abounding amateur through the analysis mark of 2016 as it did all of endure season.
While the Seahawks and Rams advance the agrarian NFC West with stingy defenses and adept offenses, Arizona's units accept played able-bodied beneath the expectations set by their NFC Championship attack just one year ago. With a talent-poor agenda and enigmas at quarterback, San Francisco is about overachieving at 1-3. The Cardinals, on the added hand, are entering must-win territory, and it doesn't advice that their adept baton on offense, Carson Palmer, has been disqualified out afterwards adversity a Anniversary 4 concussion.
Can the Cardinals save their analysis abaft a advancement quarterback? Will the 49ers blemish Arizona's run at a additional after analysis title? Here's what we'll be watching for (you can beck Thursday's bold on Twitter):
1. Taking over for Palmer is rolex replica Drew Stanton, who is in his third analysis with the Cards. He was advantageous in eight starts in 2014, while Palmer dealt with feel and ACL injuries. Stanton averaged 203.3 yards per game, threw for seven TDs and 5 interceptions in his eight starts, and led Arizona to the postseason with 5 wins admitting commutual beneath 55 percent of his passes. In his abbreviate assuming endure anniversary adjoin the Rams, Stanton was tasked with arch Arizona on a game-winning drive after the abutment of a run bold and couldn't play up to the moment. Stanton went 4-of-11 casual for 37 yards with two interceptions, including one animal bound beyond the middle.
The artisan advancement will appear into Thursday's bold with a bare slate, so we shouldn't see a archetype of his hurried, cheeky achievement adjoin Los Angeles, just as continued as he's upright. The Cardinals' abhorrent band subjected Palmer to an aberant bulk of burden in their three losses, surrendering 11 sacks, including the appraisal that agape Palmer out of the bold endure week. If the added adaptable Stanton can balk whatever basal blitz San Francisco's foreground seven presents, afresh the Cards' breach shouldn't see too abundant of a setback with a advancement beneath center.
2. Contributing to the Cardinals' struggles on breach has been their disability to account first, or at the actual least, account in the aboriginal quarter. Through four games, Arizona has yet to replica watches account a individual point in the aperture 15 account and instead the aggregation has punted 10 times. With Stanton beneath center, it's absurd there will be any added aplomb in play calling to activation a hotter start. However, instead of banishment the brawl downfield aboriginal as Palmer is oft to do, the Cards can use David Johnson as their crammer and Andre Ellington as a change of clip in abbreviate situations to accumulate drives affective adjoin San Francisco's poor run defense. Putting Gabbert and the San Francisco breach abaft on the scoreboard in the aboriginal analysis would be a answerable way to put this bold to bed early.
3. The Cardinals' cornerbacks beyond from Patrick Peterson were exploited time and time afresh adjoin the Rams' league-worst casual game; Marcus Cooper looked overmatched adjoin Brian Quick of all people, who exhausted the fourth-year cornerback for two touchdowns, including the game-winner. Arizona's arresting backs accept to backlash this anniversary adjoin a analogously characterless crop of wideouts in San Francisco. The 49ers' yards-per-play boilerplate (4.7) is the second-worst in the league, just aloft the Rams (4.6). Their abysmal blackmail wideout, Torrey Smith, is balked with Blaine Gabbert's play at quarterback, admitting the quarterback's claims that their accord is "fine." If Arizona can't shut down artisan aperture receiver Jeremy Kerley, Garrett Celek -- the second-best Celek -- and San Francisco's casual game, afresh there will be accepted acumen to agitation in the desert.
4. How will the 49ers' aegis accomplish after NaVorro Bowman? The linebacker was absent for the analysis during endure week's accident with an Achilles injury, and afterward his departure, Cowboys active aback Ezekiel Elliott absolutely angry it on. After their captain and affecting leader, the 49ers will be hard-pressed to bout Bowman's attendance and assembly with Nick Bellore and Gerald Hodges on the inside. San Francisco will aswell acceptable be after able amateur arresting DeForest Buckner (foot), who leads the aggregation in accouterment assists.
5. Beyond the acreage from San Francisco's banged-up foreground is green stud David Johnson, whose massive expectations accept been choleric by Arizona's abhorrent disability and poor band play. Still, Johnson leads the alliance in yards from flat (510) and will prove to be Stanton's best acquaintance out of the backfield on screens and caster routes on Thursday night. D.J. should yield advantage of the 49ers' league-worst blitz aegis (140.5 YPG) and backpack the amount for Arizona.
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