The San Francisco 49ers head to Arizona this weekend to take on the Cardinals while looking for their first win. This team is ready to prove that they should be taken seriously in the NFL, and they have a pretty favorable matchup to do that. Who are some of the important matchups heading into this game? Let’s take a look.
Brian Hoyer v. Patrick Peterson
Probably the scariest matchup on this list. Head Coach Kyle Shanahan needs to be very careful game planning for Hoyer. Hoyer has had plenty of issues with errant passes and holding on to the ball too long, and having an elite CB like Peterson will only exacerbate Hoyers deficiencies. Expect to see most of the passes thrown somewhere not in Petersons general vicinity, or to the sideline. Whichever is closest.
Trent Taylor v. Deone Buchanan
WR Trent Taylor finally found the end zone in Thursdays thrilling 41-39 loss, but his emergence as a shifty slot receiver should make him a primary option when targeting away from Patrick Peterson. Done Buchanan will not be an easy matchup by any means, but he is recovering from an ankle injury and should bode well for Taylors shiftiness.
Carlos Hyde v. Defensive Line
As noted above, the gameplay for Sunday should not revolve around Hoyer. The offense needs to be moving through RB Carlos Hyde. Thankfully, the offensive line has been steadily getting better and is helping Hyde avoid contact until 3 yards after the line of scrimmage. That is a great stat and Hyde should have little trouble if given the space to work with.
Solomon Thomas v. Carson Palmer
During the Thursday Night game against LAR, Tank Carradine suffered a high ankle sprain that, while likely won’t need surgery, was enough for him to be placed on injured reserve. While this is a loss in that Tank seemed to be coming into his own at the position, it opens the door for #3 overall pick Solomon Thomas to start.
Thomas has been relatively quiet over the last few games, with DeForest Buckner taking up the bulk of the news and stats for the defensive line. Thomas is fully capable of breaking out and having a big game. The ARI OL is not great, and the David Johnson injury has made the Cardinals less than one dimensional.
Rashard Robinson v. Larry Fitzgerald
As discussed in the “Keys to the game” article, CB Rashard Robinson has had a rough couple of weeks. He hasn’t played to the level of getting “victimized”, but theres been some bad games. Thankfully he has a m9re favorable matchup against Larry Fitzgerald. Robinson this year has had trouble against faster/shiftier receivers so playing a big bodied possession style receiver will play well to Robinson strengths, and shutting down a hall of fame caliber, if not past his prime receiver will do well for reestablishing Robinson confidence.
What matchups are you looking forward to seeing? Let us know on twitter and stay tuned to 49ersHUB for more great content!