The San Francisco 49ers have received great play from their defense, but they haven’t gotten much at quarterback.
Colin Kaepernick has performed horribly lately, and the 49ers offense has sputtered. Because of Kaepernick’s performance, there are long-term concerns about the offense.
Kaepernick likely won’t address those concerns today. He will face a strong Arizona Cardinals defense, one that held the Carolina Panthers to six points on Sunday. It has limited mediocre quarterbacks, and it has the ability to stop Kaepernick.
The Cardinals have also shut down running backs, which doesn’t bode well for Frank Gore. Gore has been on a roll lately, but he isn’t a star. If he gets shut down, it could kill the team.
Kaepernick hasn’t proved to be capable of carrying the offense, as he has performed terribly this year. Being conservative and protecting the ball might not be enough today; Kaepernick will have to start moving the ball and scoring points.
He won’t have to do a ton, though. The Cardinals are manned by the erratic Carson Palmer, who turns the ball over a lot. With playmakers like Eric Reid, Tramaine Brock and Tarell Brown in the secondary and NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis manning the defense, the 49ers should be able to force turnovers and stifle the Cardinals.
Expect a low-scoring game, one with ample turnovers. The 49ers should get some points off of field position and turnovers, and they should be able to manufacture points on offense.
I think the 49ers will win 20-10, but if they play poorly, the Cardinals could escape with a shocking victory.