On paper, the game between the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers is not all that intriguing, but it is an important contest for Arizona. In the NFC playoff race, they need to stockpile wins if they wish to have a first round bye in the postseason. in an otherwise drab matchup, especially since the Cardinals dismantled the Niners 47-7 in Week 3 at home, here are some thing to focus on.
There has been a lot of talk about this being a trap game for Arizona. It is the perfect storm. They crushed the Niners earlier this season. The Niners are a bad team and playing bad football right now. The Cardinals are coming off of two very good wins on national TV over two great opponents. The Cardinals are a bit banged up.
So will Arizona's focus and intensity go down? We have seen it happen in Pittsburgh and in Cleveland. Will it happen in Santa Clara?
Arizona had Kaepernick's number, how will Blaine Gabbert fare?
Gabbert has had a pair of okay games. he is doing better than most thought he would do. Will he be able to move the ball down the field against Arizona's defense? Can he at least keep it from being the pick party it was n Arizona when these two teams last met?
Can Chris Johnson get back on track?
Johnson was spectacular through seven games, but has slowed down a bit. In his last three games, he has only 230 yards on only 3.1 yards per carry. He was playing some very good defenses the last two weeks. San Fran just allowed Thomas Rawls to rush for over 200 yards. Getting Johnson back on track will be a focus.
How will the Cardinals defense hold up with injuries up front?
They will be down two, maybe three defensive linemen. Deon Bucannon might not play. That means Sean Weatherspoon and then more Josh Mauro and Xavier Williams. While the 49ers offense is the worst in the league, can they take care of business?
Can the offensive line keep Aaron Lynch away from Carson Palmer?
There is one bright star on the San Francisco defense -- Aaron Lynch. He has 6.5 sacks on the season.