TV Schedule: Sunday, Oct. 13, 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX
Stadium: Candlestick Park
Weather: High 70, Low 52
Line: San Francisco (-11)
The San Francisco 49ers have been one of the disappointments of the young season with a 3-2, but two straight wins has made their record a tad more respectable. For a team that went to the Super Bowl a season ago, the expectations were through the roof for Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers this season. Kaepernick has just 969 yards and six touchdowns in five games this season — leading the second-worst passing offense in the league at just 181 yards per game through the air. Good thing for the young quarterback is that he has a veteran receiver in Anquan Boldin to throw to and take the pressure off his shoulders. Boldin has 26 catches for 393 yards and two scores this season. Another good sign is Frank Gore getting back into the swing of things in the run game, rushing for 376 yards and three touchdowns.
On the other side of the field, the Arizona Cardinals are also 3-2 on the season and it’s amazing what a solid quarterback under center can do for this team. While not many people see Arizona as a real threat just yet, Carson Palmer is looking to change that. The veteran quarterback has 1,185 yards and five touchdowns on the season, making wide out Larry Fitzgerald a happy man because he finally has someone to throw an accurate pass to him. Fitzgerald has 24 catches for 288 yards and three scores this season behind Michael Floyd at the top receiver in terms of yards with 301. Arizona needs an improvement in the run game behind Rashard Mendenhall who has struggled with his 3.2 yards per carry average.
Defensively, the Cardinals have the 10th-best scoring unit in the league. Holding teams to just 19 points per game as well as just 343 yards per game — 15th in the league — is good enough to win some games heading forward. Oh, and don’t forget the third-ranked run defense. San Francisco is known for their defense — or at least it was a year ago. Having the second-best passing defense in the league is key for winning games, but ranking 20th in run defense has been an issue.
PREDICTION: Cardinals 14, 49ers 24