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San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals Preview and Predictions 10-31-2019

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The San Francisco 49ers were among the early surprises in the NFC West but they have emerged as one of the front-runners to reach the Super Bowl as they approach the halfway point of the season. Coming off their most impressive performance of the season, the surging 49ers look to remain perfect when they visit the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday night.

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San Francisco has permitted a scant 23 points over its past four games after bludgeoning visiting Carolina 51-13 on Sunday, but overconfidence is not an issue given it has lost eight in a row to the Cardinals. "We've got a short week this week," 49ers defensive tackle DeForest Buckner said. "We haven't beat the Cardinals in I don't know how long -- since I've been here we haven't beat them. We've got a big challenge ahead." Arizona rebounded from an 0-3-1 start to the season by rattling off three victories in a row before coming back to earth in a 31-9 drubbing at New Orleans on Sunday. Thursday's matchup will offer an intriguing subplot, featuring a showdown between the top two picks in this year's NFL Draft: Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray and 49ers defensive lineman Nick Bosa.

TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: 49ers -10. O/U: 42.5

ABOUT THE 49ERS (7-0): Bosa earned a spot in the history books last week by becoming the third rookie to record at least three sacks and an interception in one game since the sack became an official stat in 1982. "We ended up taking Kyler: We thought that was the best move for our organization," Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said of the decision to take Murray at No. 1. "But we knew whoever was going to take Nick was going to get a dominant player in this league." San Francisco ranks fourth in sacks (27.0), is tied for second in interceptions (10) and allows a league-low 224.4 yards per game. Tight end George Kittle is the top target for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo with 40 receptions while lead running back Tevin Coleman is coming off a four-touchdown game.




ABOUT THE CARDINALS (3-4-1): Arizona is dealing with some serious issues in the backfield due to injuries to its top two running backs, David Johnson and Chase Edmonds, which necessitated the acquisition of Kenyan Drake from Miami on Monday. "I think Kenyan can come in and do some things that can fit what we need right now," Kingsbury said of the 6-foot-1, 211-pound Drake, who rushed for 535 yards and had a career-high 53 receptions last season with the Dolphins. Murray, who is averaging 248.5 yards passing and has rushed for 279 yards, may need to use his legs more to elude San Francisco's ferocious pass rush. The Cardinals have registered 22.0 sacks but their defense ranks 29th overall, surrendering an average of 407.1 yards, including 130.1 rushing.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Arizona has limited San Francisco to 18 points or fewer in the past four meetings.

2. Bosa has seven sacks in seven games and is tied with Los Angeles Rams DT Aaron Donald for the league lead with 11 tackles for loss.

3. Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald had eight catches for 102 yards and a TD in the last matchup.

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Key Players to Watch

Stadium

University of Phoenix Stadium
Glendale, Arizona, USA.
Capacity: 63,400

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Last Injuries

Arizona Cardinals

  • Christian Kirk

    Groin
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Kirk sat out the last game with a groin injury, and it is unknown if he will be active against the Panthers on Sunday.

  • Chris Banjo

    Hamstring
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Banjo left the previous game due to a hamstring injury, and it is uncertain if he will take the field Sunday versus the Panthers.

  • Budda Baker

    Thumb
    Doub Sun | doubtful

    Baker is not expected to be in the lineup Week 4 versus the Lions due to surgery to fix a UCL tear in his thumb.

  • Mason Cole

    Hamstring
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Cole has missed the past two games due to a hamstring injury, and it is unclear if he will return Sunday against the Panthers.

  • DeAndre Hopkins

    Ankle
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Hopkins is managing an ankle injury, and it has yet to be established if he will face the Panthers on Sunday.

  • Byron Murphy Jr.

    Shoulder
    Prob Sun | probable

    Murphy Jr. is nursing a shoulder injury, but he is expected to line up versus the Lions on Sunday.

  • Jordan Phillips

    Ankle
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Phillips is dealing with an ankle injury, and it is uncertain if he will be available against the Lions on Sunday.

  • Dre Kirkpatrick

    Neck
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Kirkpatrick is dealing with a neck issue, leaving his status for Sunday's clash with the Lions hazy.

San Francisco 49ers

  • Ahkello Witherspoon

    Hamstring
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Witherspoon missed the last game with a hamstring injury, and it is up in the air if he will be active Sunday versus the Eagles.

  • Deebo Samuel

    Foot
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Samuel has ended up on the injured reserve list recovering from surgery to repair a Jones fracture in his foot. Although he is targeting a return against the Dolphins in Week 5, it is unknown when the team will activate him.

  • Emmanuel Moseley

    Concussion
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Moseley departed the previous game due to a concussion, and it has yet to be established if he will be cleared in time for Sunday's contest versus the Eagles.

  • Jerick McKinnon

    Ribs
    Ques Sun | questionable

    McKinnon has injured ribs, and there is no indication if it will keep him out of the lineup Sunday versus the Eagles.

  • Mark Nzeocha

    Quadricep
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Nzeocha has been shuttled to the injured reserve list due to a quad injury, and team officials have yet to provide an exact return date.

  • Raheem Mostert

    Knee
    Doub Sun | doubtful

    Mostert sat out the previous game with a mild sprain of the MCL in his knee, and it is unlikely that he will play against the Eagles on Sunday.

  • Jordan Reed

    Knee
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Reed has been added to the injured reserve list due to a sprained MCL in his left knee. It is uncertain when the team will activate him.

  • Dre Greenlaw

    Thigh
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Greenlaw was absent from the lineup during the last game due to a thigh contusion, and it is undetermined if he will partake in Sunday's tilt versus the Eagles.