Earlier this week Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson made it clear, he wanted out. A few days later and his tune has changed.
Whether Peterson changed his mind or just came to the realization that General Manager Steve Keim wasn’t about toput the nail in his own coffin, it won’t change the fact that it’s just another negative headline coming out of the desert.
Arizona will need every bit of Peterson’s skillset headed in to week eight against the 1-6 division rival San Francisco 49ers. The 9ers come to town losers of five straight, one of those losses coming to Arizona in week five by a score of 28-18. So if Arizona beat San Francisco in their own home just a few weeks ago, why doesn’t a home game against the division foe feel like a sure win? If we take a look back at the week five game in Santa Clara, California you’ll see that the 49ers gave that game away – literally. San Francisco had five turnovers and Arizona had zero. Credit goes to Chandler Jones and the Cardinal’s defense for forcing those turnovers but the 49ers dominated Arizona in just about every other aspect of the game. In a game that lasted 60 minutes, San Francisco had the ball for over 40 of them. The 9ers had 447 total yards compared to the Cardinals 220. On third down the Cardinals only converted twice (2-12) whereas the 49ers converted on 10-17 attempts. First downs? The 49ers dominated there too (33-10).
While winning the turnover battle is always important, Arizona can’t expect to come away with five more turnovers than the 9ers this Sunday and will need their offense to do something – anything! Arizona recently handed Offensive Coordinator Mike McCoy his walking papers after the worst offensive start to a season in decades. Offenses in the NFL seem to be breaking records every week and somehow McCoy found a way to take a step back. Byron Leftwich will take over as Arizona’s play caller and he will look to resuscitate an all but dead offense. Leftwich came to town under Bruce Arians, a head coach that laid out the blueprints for how to use running back, David Johnson. Leftwich may not be B.A. just yet, but he’s seen enough to know how to use his current roster. Leftwich also had a nine-year career as an NFL quarterback so you can be assured that running it up the middle will not be his forte. Josh Rosen might finally get the chance to throw the ball down field.
In week five’s matchup against the 49ers, San Francisco was without track star receiver, Marquise Goodwin. He’s healthy now and with Cardinals safety Tre Boston questionable with injury, Goodwin could pose a problem for the Cardinals secondary. Boston’s replacement, Rudy Ford, appeared to have blown a deep coverage last week versus Denver which resulted in a 64-yard touchdown to Emmanuel Sanders. With receiver Pierre Garcon doubtful and rookie receiver Dante Pettis questionable to play for the 9ers on Sunday, could we see Arizona go back to having P2 shadow the number one receiver (Goodwin)? It might be necessary.
Kickoff is scheduled for 1:25pm (MT) and the 49ers are currently favored by one point. This week isn’t just going to decide who the worst team in the division is, it will decide who the worst team is in the entire league is.
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