I asked David Fucillo from our sister blog Niners Nation about how physical the 49ers are and whether they have lost any of that from a year ago, considering that a season ago they might have been the most physical team in the NFL.
Fooch told me this:
"The 49ers can still play strong, physical football. Just ask the Seahawks! The Giants beat the 49ers in a physical NFC Championship Game after losing a narrow one last regular season. I don't think anything changed in that regard really. The Giants are a team that for now has some sort of edge on the 49ers. Any team can get physical with another team, but it's actually a matter of stepping up and doing it. I am curious to see what the Cardinals try and do to combat this physicality on both sides of the ball.
"On the defensive side of the ball, I don't think anything has really changed. The turnovers are down but that is somewhat related to regression to the mean. On the offensive side of the ball, the 49ers offensive line has a bit of a mean streak that has been a key part of the strong rushing attack. The Cardinals defensive front will need to get seriously physical with them to win the individual battles."
What can we expect? It looks like this will probably get a bit chippy between the teams. The Arizona offensive line is in for a long night if they aren't ready. I know the defense will be ready.
How do you see the physical battle between the two teams playing out?