NFL Football

20
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
San Francisco 7 0 7 6 20
Arizona 3 3 0 6 12
12
1:30 PM PT2:30 PM MT3:30 PM CT4:30 PM ET21:30 GMT5:30 2:30 PM MST4:30 PM EST3:30 PM CT1:30 UAE (+1)16:30 ET19:30 , December 26, 2020
State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Arizona  Attendance: 0

49ers-Cardinals Preview

According to STATS
According to STATS

San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals

  1. The Cardinals defeated the 49ers, 24-20, on the road in Week 1, their ninth win over San Francisco over the last six seasons. The only NFC team which has won 10 games against an opponent over that span is the Eagles against the Giants (10). The last four games between the 49ers and Cardinals in Glendale have each been decided by three points.
  2. The 49ers fell to the Cowboys, 41-33, on the road last week, ensuring they finish with the worst record in the NFC West. San Francisco is the fifth team since the 2002 division realignment to play in a Super Bowl and finish with the worst record in their division in the following season (most recently: 2016 Carolina).
  3. The Cardinals defeated the Eagles, 33-26, at home on Sunday. Arizona is 3-3 in its last six home games, having allowed more than 25 points in every game. The 188 points the Cards have allowed over their last six home games is the most in a six-game span of home games for the franchise since 1983 (193).
  4. C.J. Beathard is expected to make his first start since October 2018. Beathard has a 1-9 record in 10 career starts, including 0-3 against Arizona. Only three QBs in NFL history have lost their first four starts against the Cardinals (Matthew Stafford, Jon Kitna and Steve Young).
  5. Kyler Murray threw three touchdown passes and rushed for another in the win over the Eagles. It was Murray's ninth game this season with a passing and rushing TD. That is the most such games in a single season in NFL history.
  6. DeAndre Hopkins has assumed the NFL lead in receiving yards (1324) after his 169-yard game against Philadelphia. Hopkins would be the third Cardinal to lead the NFL in receiving yards in the past 30 seasons and the first since David Boston in 2001 (1598 yards).
Team Comparison

San Francisco
 
Arizona
23.8 Points 27.9
276.1 Pass Yds 261.6
112.6 Rush Yds 147.8
18 Takeaways 18
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) The Arizona Cardinals are in the middle of the playoff race for the first time in years, while the San Francisco 49ers have been eliminated from the postseason one year after playing in the Super Bowl.

Saturday's game between the two teams is yet another example of how quickly things can change in pro football.

"This is the NFL, it's competitive, it's really close," Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray said. "The fact that we're still where we want to be in the thick of things is all you can ask for at this point in the season."

Arizona (8-6) is trying for its fifth season sweep in the past six years over San Francisco (5-9), which lost to the Cardinals 24-20 in Week 1 and has lost six of its past seven games overall.

The Cardinals are currently in the No. 7 and final spot in the NFC playoff race. They can clinch a spot in the postseason for the first time since 2015 if they win on Saturday and the Chicago Bears lose or tie against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

BEATHARD'S CHANCE

C.J. Beathard will make his first start at quarterback for the 49ers since 2018 with both Jimmy Garoppolo and Nick Mullens out injured. Beathard believes he has developed into a better player than the quarterback who won one of 10 starts in 2017-18, with 13 interceptions, 12 TDs and a 74.6 rating. He has shown a few flashes in mop-up duty this season, and this is an opportunity to show how much he has improved before becoming a free agent this offseason.

"I've got nothing to lose at this point," Beathard said. "I'm going to go out and have some fun. This team has nothing to lose at this point. We're not going to make the playoffs. We've really got nothing to lose. We've got to go out there and leave it all on the field and just have some fun with it. That's kind of been our motto the last week is just go out there and have some fun. So, I'm excited for the opportunity."

TALKIN' ABOUT PRACTICE

Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins has taken some criticism in Arizona media circles for his lack of time on the practice field. But it's hard to argue with his game production: He leads the NFL with 1,324 yards receiving and was recently selected to his sixth Pro Bowl.

Hopkins good-naturedly called out some of those critics earlier in the week. He said he doesn't listen too much to local media but that his grandfather informs him of some of the highlights.

"Tell those people who say I don't practice to come watch me play the game," Hopkins said with a grin.

AWARD-WINNING WILLIAMS

One of the bright spots this season for the Niners has been the play of left tackle Trent Williams. A perennial Pro Bowler during his time in Washington, Williams has gotten back to that form with the 49ers after sitting out all of last season. Williams was voted to his eighth Pro Bowl this week and called this his most satisfying.

"It never gets old," he said. "Every year it's just as special as the last. This year is far more special for me just because of what I had to overcome last season. It was a mountain climb for me."

ZACH ATTACK

Cardinals defensive lineman Zach Allen had a huge game against the Eagles last weekend, finishing with 11 tackles, one sack, one tackle for loss, one quarterback hit and one pass defended. He was the first defensive lineman to have at least 11 tackles, one sack and one pass defended in a game since New England's Willie McGinest did it back in 2003.

Allen, in his second season after being selected in the third round out of Boston College, is among a handful of little-known players who have had a big impact on the Cardinals this season.

"He just had a couple of injuries that had slowed him down, but to get him back out there and watch the success he's having is cool to see," Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "He's a guy who was uber-productive in college. He tends to always be around the quarterback when he's in there, and it's been nice to see him have some of that production show up here the last couple of weeks."

FAMILY TIME

The Niners have been based in Arizona all month after being kicked out of their home stadium because of coronavirus rules banning contact sports in Santa Clara County. Many of the players and coaches got a lift this week when several families arrived for the holiday. Coach Kyle Shanahan said he would juggle the schedule to make sure everyone had time with families on Christmas morning.

"I know everyone loves being with their family, but it's valued a lot more when you've been away for a while," Shanahan said.

STREAMING

The 49ers-Cardinals game will be the first to air on a national level exclusively on Amazon Prime Video, Twitch and Amazon's other services. The game will also be broadcast in Arizona's and San Francisco's home markets.

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Updated December 24, 2020

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