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What2Watch4: Cards at 49ers

The Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers are meeting on a short week. Five matchups that will help determine the outcome of Thursday Night Football:

 

Drew Stanton, QB, #5 vs. Antoine Bethea, S, #41 San Francisco’s pass defense is Top 10 in DVOA against all but #1 wide receivers (against which they’re dead last). Bethea is a big reason why, excelling at putting his teammates in positions to succeed.

Deone Bucannon, $B, #20 vs. Carlos Hyde, RB, #28 Whatever offensive production the 49ers are able to muster comes from the running back position. Hyde offers a strong combination of power and speed, and the 49ers run up the middle at an above-average rate.

David Johnson, RB, #31 vs. Mike Purcell, NT, #64 The Cardinals strategy should be to shorten the game and get out of the stadium as early as possible with a win and with everyone healthy. That starts with David Johnson getting past Mike Purcell and to the second level as quickly as possible.

There may not be many battles left between Campbell and Staley.

There may not be many battles left between Campbell and Staley.

Calais Campbell, DT, #93 vs. Joe Staley, OT, #74 Staley and Campbell know and respect each other having gone through many battles against one another. Campbell has to be disruptive at the edge to rattle San Francisco quarterback Blaine Gabbert early and often.

Jaron Brown, WR, #13 vs. Tremaine Brock, CB, #26 Expect the role of Michael Floyd to be reduced in the wake of two more drops last week. Brown will play on the outside and should benefit from 45% or more of the offensive snaps. Brock has been playing excellent football this season.

Prediction: Arizona Cardinals 28, San Francisco 49ers 16

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