Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers: Preview and Anquan Boldin Injury Update

The Arizona Cardinals are a mere three days away from opening the 2009 season against a very familiar face. Not only have the Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers met twice a year since being realigned after the 2001 season, but they've also opened the season against each other each of the past three years. Needless to say the Niners and Cards know each other very well and there won't be many surprises when the two teams take the field.

On the injury front the Cardinals have one injury that we'll monitor all the way up until game time, Anquan Boldin. Boldin hasn't practiced since before the Packers preseason game and he was not able to practice in yesterday's session. He did tell an FSN reporter, while he was at a Dodgers-Diamondbacks game, that he would "most definitely" play on Sunday and Whisenhunt has said that Q missing practice but still playing wouldn't be a first. The chances of Q actually missing the game seem relatively small but hopefully he'll at least test it before game time. Other guys listed on the injury report who were limited in practice include Sean Morey, Early Doucet and Brian St. Pierre. Steve Breaston and Matt Ware were also listed on the report but fully participated in practice. Breaston did say after practice that he expected his knee to be sore after testing it yesterday but it's just something that he'll have to play through.

The Niners have two injuries to report but it's worth noting because both players have already been ruled out of the game, linebacker Ahmad Brooks and wide receiver Brandon Jones. Brooks is a backup outside linebacker and Jones is their third or fourth wide receiver.

  • Under Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt, the Cardinals 14-4 record at home (including the playoffs) is an NFC-best as is their 28.9 points per game scoring average at home.
  • The Cards and Niners have met 35 times dating back to 1951 and the Niners hold a 19-16 lead in the all-time series but in the 14 matchups since Arizona joined the West, the series is tied at seven games a piece.
  • In the past ten meetings, in which the Cardinals won six, the average margin of victory is a mere 6.7 points. Three of the games have went into overtime and only two of the games have been decided by more than one score (both won by the Cards). Despite the close games though, in six of the past seven seasons one team has swept the season series with Arizona pulling out the broom in three of the past four seasons.
  • This is just the second time that the Cardinals have opened the season at home since moving to the desert with the other being the inaugural regular season game at University of Phoenix Stadium in '06 when we also hosted the Niners. Prior to UoP Stadium the schedule makers tried to avoid early season games in Arizona because of the heat (yet another reason to love the new Nest).
  • With a win the Cardinals post back to back season opening wins for the first time since the Don Coryell era (75-76), but since moving to UoP Stadium the Cardinals have not lost home opener.
  • Anquan Boldin needs 84 receiving yards to pass Frank Sanders for fifth on the franchise's all time leader board.
  • Larry Fitzgerald needs just 25 receiving yards to reach 6,000 for his career and that would make him the second youngest receiver to ever reach that mark at 26 years and 13 days old (Randy Moss was 25 years and 270 days when he reached 6,000).
  • Kurt Warner is a perfect 3-0 in opening day starts at home and has posted a sparkling 102.3 in those starts. Also Warner's next 300 yard passing game will be his 19th with the franchise and it will tie him with Neil Lomax for the franchise record. 
  • Warner is also 9-1 versus the Niners during his career and in those ten games he's thrown 23 TDs versus just 10 interceptions and compiled a QB rating of 102.7.
  • The Cards have not had a rusher break the 100 yard mark in week one since 1988 (Stump Mitchell with 110) and they haven't had a rookie rusher top 100 yards in his first game since Ottis Anderson ran for 193 in 1979.
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