49ers vs. Cardinals: 5 Questions with Heat Waved

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4. How will the Cardinals’ tendency to blitz frequently on defense affect Colin Kaepernick this week?

Dec 29, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) prepares to take the snap against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Tony Burgess: The Cardinals’ tendency to blitz has had its pros and cons. They have the third ranked rushing defense, but they also have the 22nd ranked passing defense. Some would wonder why the Cards have the 22nd ranked passing defense when, it seems, the strength of their defense is their secondary of Patrick Peterson, Antonio Cromartie, and now Tyrann Mathieu. A major blame could be on their tendency to blitz.

Blitzing the quarterback means one-on-one coverage down the field which, if you have a good offensive line, could be exploitable. This will be key against the 49ers as they have always been known to have a very solid offensive line. If the 49ers can hold up just long enough against the blitz, Colin Kaepernick will have his opportunities down the field.

The only thing, though, is the Cardinals will have to look at the history of blitzing Kaepernick and what the results have been. Against the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs last season, Kaepernick was able to put up huge rushing numbers due to the missed tackles by the Packers in their blitzing schemes. Last week against the Chicago Bears, though, the Bears were able to get ahold of Kaepernick a few times and forced four turnovers.

It really depends on how sound your defense truly is. This will be interesting to watch and see how the Cardinals attack Kaepernick and the rest of the 49ers’ offense.