Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers
The Arizona Cardinals (1-3) travel to San Francisco to face the 49ers (1-3), with both teams struggling out of the gate. Drew Stanton will be starting for Carson Palmer (Out – concussion), and brings a limping offense to go up against a limping offense on the other side of the field. This could be a huge game for IDPs.
Home Stat Crew
The stat crew in San Francisco ranks just outside the top-5 in Total Tackle Value. This is due in large part to the 49ers fast-paced offense. The Arizona IDPs are used to middle-of-the-road tackle numbers, but that’s based largely on their poor number of total defensive snaps. Coming to San Fran should help them get a much-needed boost in opportunity.
Matchups to Watch
Tyrann Mathieu vs. Blaine Gabbert
The Cardinals have eased Mathieu back into action after his ACL tear by having him patrol the deep field as a free safety. But with DB Tyvon Branch on his way to the Injured Reserve list, Arizona is moving Mathieu back into the role he thrived in last season. That’s good news for IDP owners who were blindsided by the move to free safety. Mathieu sounds amped up to eat near the action again, which is bad news for Gabbert. The 49ers passing attack has been struggling, and Gabbert’s job just got a lot harder knowing the Honey Badger will be staring him and RB Carlos Hyde down.
Michael Wilhoite vs. David Johnson/Larry Fitzgerald
Speaking of the Injured Reserve list, stud run-stopping ILB NaVorro Bowman just hit the I.R. and left a gaping hole in the 49ers run defense. They’ve struggled over the middle all season, but now it’s up to Wilhoite to fill the gap. The Cardinals surely saw how much easier the sledding got for Ezekiel Elliott after Bowman went down, so they’re likely going to set their sights on Wilhoite’s area of the field. That’s music to the ears of IDP owners who lost Bowman and replaced him with Wilhoite.
Tony Jefferson vs. Antoine Bethea
While not a head-to-head matchup on the field, all eyes should be on the box score battle between these two strong safeties. Both offenses struggled to pass the ball effectively (the Cardinals were struggling before they lost their starting QB, and now have their backup in). Where they haven’t struggled is in the run game. Both teams feature workhorse RBs in David Johnson and Carlos Hyde. The amount of carries and friendly tackle crew should give both ...