Niners aim to solve undefeated Cardinals
TEMPE, Arizona – The Arizona Cardinals are currently atop the NFL as the league’s last unbeaten team.
Playing the role of the favorite doesn’t bother Kyler Murray at all.
“It’s not a new feeling for me. It’s good, it’s normal,” said the third-year quarterback. “To be back in a position where we go into every game with the certainty of coming out victorious is a great feeling, for sure.”
The Cardinals will try to move to 5-0 for the first time since 1974 when they host the San Francisco 49ers (2-2) today. The 49ers are looking to end a two-game losing streak.
Arizona enter the game with the league’s strongest offense at 35 points per game. Much of this is thanks to Murray, who has become one of the MVP favorites at the start of the season. The 24-year-old completes 76.1% of his passes, which leads the NFL, and he threw nine touchdowns while running three more.
The San Francisco defense will try to make things uncomfortable for Murray. The Niners have an efficient passing rush, led by Nick Bosa (four sacks) and Dee Ford (three).
“They click all the cylinders,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said of the Cardinals. “Which they did at the start of last year as well. But they have playmakers, they have a perfect plan for all of their playmakers and they make it difficult for the teams.”
Niners rookie quarterback Trey Lance will make his first start with Jimmy Garoppolo sidelined by a calf injury. Garoppolo left last week’s game at half-time due to injury and was unable to train this week.
Lance struggled with his accuracy during his long period of play in last Sunday’s 28-21 loss to Seattle, but still finished 9 for 18 for 157 yards, 2 touchdowns, a converting run of two points and 41 rushing yards.
“I thought when he went into battle here, just performing the attack and not really his specific plays, I thought he felt more comfortable as the match progressed. “Shanahan said. “Especially coming home and watching the tape after the game, I thought there were a lot of encouraging things.”
Arizona Cardinals running back James Conner (6) walks out of the field after beating the Los Angeles Rams in an NFL football game on Sunday October 3, 2021 in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo / Jae C. Hong)
Arizona Cardinals tight end Maxx Williams, right, right, celebrates his touchdown with wide receiver AJ Green (18) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday October 3, 2021 in Inglewood, California. (AP Photo / Jae C. Hong)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo sits on the sidelines during the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Santa Clara, Calif. On Sunday October 3, 2021 (AP Photo / Tony Avelar)
San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, right, chats with quarterback Trey Lance (5) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Santa Clara, Calif. On Sunday, October 3, 2021 (AP Photo / Tony Avelar)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) passes against the Seattle Seahawks in the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif. On Sunday, October 3, 2021. (AP Photo / Tony Avelar)