The San Francisco 49ers look to rebound from their first loss of the season when they host the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. San Francisco was the last remaining unbeaten team in the NFL before it fell 27-24 in overtime to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night.
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The 49ers hold a half-game lead over the Seahawks in the NFC West and some of the veteran players referred to the setback as one that comes with benefits. "You learn more in a loss than you do in a win most times," cornerback Richard Sherman said at a press conference. "So I guess that's the silver lining. You always learn more from a loss. I'm sure guys will take that and take the lessons that they need from that. We had a chance to win, and we didn't." Arizona has dropped three straight games and is far away from the division lead in its first season with Kyler Murray at quarterback but progress is being made. "We're just scratching the surface right now," wideout Christian Kirk told reporters. "It gives us a lot of confidence making the strides we are making. Each week we continue to ascend and it's kind of comforting to feel like we will keep growing for years to come."
TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: 49ers -10.5 O/U: 45
ABOUT THE CARDINALS (3-6-1): Murray has been efficient with 12 touchdowns against five interceptions and has passed for 2,553 yards and rushed for a club-high 351 and two scores. Veteran wideout Larry Fitzgerald leads the team with 50 receptions for 556 yards despite slowing down while second-year pro Kirk is on the rise after catching six passes for career-highs of 138 yards and three touchdowns in last week's loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The defense ranks 27th in scoring defense (28.1 points per game) and 31st in total defense (412.5 yards per game) but star pass rusher Chandler Jones is tied for the NFL lead with 11.5 sacks - his fifth straight season of 10 or more.
ABOUT THE 49ERS (8-1): Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has been solid while throwing for 2,054 yards, 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions but some of his targets are ailing. Star tight end George Kittle (46 receptions, 541 yards) could miss his second straight game with knee and ankle injuries while wideout Emmanuel Sanders (13 for 161, two TDs in three games with the team) will be a game-time decision after suffering a rib injury during Monday's loss. Defensive ends Arik Armstead and Nick Bosa are creating havoc with seven sacks apiece for a stingy unit that ranks second in sacks (35), scoring defense (14.3) and total defense (251.6).
1. Garoppolo passed for 317 yards and four touchdowns as the 49ers notched a 28-25 road victory over the Cardinals on Oct. 31 to end an eight-game losing streak in the series.
2. Arizona RB Kenyan Drake had 162 scrimmage yards (110 rushing, 52 receiving) in his team debut against San Francisco on Halloween night.
3. San Francisco DE Ronald Blair tore the ACL in his right knee against Seattle and was placed on injured reserve, and the club signed veteran DE Damontre Moore to fill the roster spot.