49ers: Ranking the 5 most important games on the 2020 schedule

49ers (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
49ers (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /
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5. The Arizona Cardinals will be a challenge for the 49ers right out of the gate

A divisional opponent right off the bat for the 49ers. Without any preseason games, this will be the first time both teams will face someone other than themselves.

The Arizona Cardinals were no pushovers when they took on the NFC West-leading 49ers in two games in 2019. They could’ve won the first game if not for an unfortunate timeout by their head coach.

However, since last season the Cardinals have improved drastically. Second-year quarterback Kyler Murray, who was already phenomenal in his rookie season, will be even better with his experience.

The Cardinals also re-signed running back Kenyan Drake and legendary wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Fitz won’t be the only weapon through the air as the Cards traded for DeAndre Hopkins from the Houston Texans.

On defense, Arizona added linebackers De’Vondre Campbell and Devon Kennard to go along with defensive lineman Jordan Phillips.

It’s no secret, if the Niners want to defend their NFC West crown, they’ll need to get through this first-week matchup with the Cardinals. Whoever wins, could have a solid shot at making the playoffs down the road.