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Arizona Cardinals vs San Francisco 49ers: What to watch

The Arizona Cardinals need to get back in the win column, here are three things to watch to make sure it happens.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals need a win. They won’t be out of the playoffs if they lose, but things are going to be really bad if they do, not just for their playoff outlook, but also with the fanbase.

The keys to beating the San Francisco 49ers may seem like “show up” but there is a little more to it.

Establish the run game

The worst run defense in the NFL, that is what the San Francisco 49ers are, so the Cardinals don’t need to do anything fancy. No, they need to line up and run David Johnson and Andre Ellington, if they need him, down their throats.

This can be a sort of “get right game” for the passing offense, but the Arizona Cardinals are not a dynamic passing unit right now. They are simply a very balanced offense with perhaps the best running back in football. Don’t over complicate it, don’t overthink it, just run baby.

Continue to bring the heat

The Arizona Cardinals, yes, the Arizona Cardinals, have one of the best pass rushes in the NFL, and in terms of yardage (2nd) and touchdown passes given up (1st), they have been great.

They’re ninth in sacks, which is great compared to last year, but this should be a game they are able to pad some stats.

Get back in the game

The reality is simple, the Arizona Cardinals need to win this game and put themselves back in control of their own destiny. Even if they win they won’t be in the Wild Card necessarily, but they’ll be in a good spot and they have a lot of games against playoff teams coming.