Five matchups to watch in Sunday’s game:
Anquan Boldin, WR, #81 vs. Tyrann Mathieu, DB, #32
It may not be often that the best player of the aughts for the Cards lines up against (maybe) the best player of the teens, but when it happens, it could be electric. Both guys play with a ferocity and violence that is special.
Shaun Draughn, RB, #24 vs. Deone Bucannon, $B, #20
Darren Urban reiterated again this week that coaches love Bucannon. If Bucannon can’t effectively contain a power run against a career journeyman RB like Draughn, this is a long-term problem that will have to be solved with a high pick.
Navorro Bowman, ILB, #53, vs. Mike Iupati, OG, #76
Bowman is arguably the most talented inside linebacker in the NFC West, and probably the best player on the 49ers. Iupati has to be able to stop his blitzing through the A-gap.
Eric Reed, S, #35, vs. Chris Johnson, RB, #23
The intention of the run game should be to get Chris Johnson to the second level. The 49ers defense is not very good, and hopefully CJ23 can put some moves on Eric Reed to put a highlight film together.
Joe Staley, LT, #74, vs. Calais Campbell, DT, #93
Even with Campbell coming off a super-quiet Sunday Night Football appearance, this is the best, most physically equal matchup going this week. Staley is having a bit of a down year, but he can still win his share of one-on-one battles.