NFL Sneak Peek – Week 3 – 49ers vs. Cardinals

 

The Niners won 12 games last year and fell to division rival Seattle in the NFC Title Game. Arizona, playing in the same division as the two best teams in the conference, managed 10 wins but fell short of a playoff birth. More amazing that the two teams 22 combined wins, their equal 10-5-1 marks against the point spread. The Niners beat Arizona 32-20 at home in week six and 23-20 on the road in the final week of the regular season. Both teams were very effective against each other in the passing game during the two contests.

KaepernickThe Niners won 12 games last year and fell to division rival Seattle in the NFC Title Game. Arizona, playing in the same division as the two best teams in the conference, managed 10 wins but fell short of a playoff birth. More amazing that the two teams 22 combined wins, their equal 10-5-1 marks against the point spread. The Niners beat Arizona 32-20 at home in week six and 23-20 on the road in the final week of the regular season. Both teams were very effective against each other in the passing game during the two contests.

San Francisco put together winning streaks of five and six last season and did so primarily because of a great defense. The Niners limited opponents to 17 points a game, third best in the league. They ranked seventh in the league against the pass and fourth versus the run. Jim Harbaugh’s crew was +12 in turnover margin, seventh best in the NFL. On offense only the Jets and Bucs passed for fewer yards than San Francisco. However, the Niners were the third best rushing team in the league.

The Cardinals started last year 3-4 but went 7-2 down the stretch. Their key to winning was a defense that did not give up yardage on the ground. Arizona allowed less than 85 yards a game rushing, best in the NFL. Their pass defense was average but opportunistic, intercepting 20 passes, fourth most in the league. Their offense was nothing special, right in the middle of the NFL in scoring with the passing game a bit stronger than the ground attack. All four of the offensive players the Cardinals chose in the draft play skill positions that will aid the passing game.

San Francisco played the 17th toughest schedule in the league last year while Arizona faced the fifth hardest. Arizona went 5-3 at home against the spread while the Niners were 6-1-1 on the road. San Francisco has won 10 games or more against the number in three straight seasons.