The San Francisco 49ers host the winless Arizona Cardinals in Week 5. Let's break down five specific elements to watch during this Niners home bout.


Despite a brutal first quarter of their 2018 schedule, the San Francisco 49ers have the chance to pick up their second win of the season over the still-winless Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium.

The Niners have received some good news on the injury front -- a problem head coach Kyle Shanahan and Co. dealt with in droves during the team's Week 4 loss on the road against the Los Angeles Chargers. Offensive tackles Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey, who suffered knee injuries during the game and were listed as questionable during the week, appear ready to go for the contest.

On top of that, running back Matt Breida (shoulder) and cornerback Richard Sherman (calf) are expected to play.

Despite the injury relief, the Niners will still have a number of elements to focus on for this contest, as they look to pick up win No. 2 entering the second quarter of the season.

Here are three specific elements necessary to make that happen.

Feed Matt Breida


Heading into Week 5, the Cardinals are allowing an average of 4.0 yards per carry and have given up a whopping 565 total rush yards -- second most in the league. Limited to just nine carries last week versus the Chargers, Breida should be much more of a focal point for Shanahan's offense against Arizona.

The Cardinals boast some notable pass-rushers, particularly EDGE Chandler Jones. And despite a seemingly fully healthy offensive line to protect quarterback C.J. Beathard, pushing Breida to the forefront of the offense will take all the more pressure off the second-year quarterback.

It helps Breida is still averaging 7.6 yards per carry.

Don't Give Up the Deep Throw


The Niners benefit from getting Sherman back. And it helps the secondary will see returns from safeties Adrian Colbert and Jaquiski Tartt.

Arizona's offense remains dead last in both points (37) and all-purpose yards (834), which is good news for San Francisco's suspect defense. But there are still threats the Cardinals pose, including rookie quarterback Josh Rosen's ability to toss deep. Per Pro Football Focus, Rosen's deep-passing grade on throws of 20-plus yards was 87.9, which is solid.

Look for Rosen to target his top receiving weapon, Larry Fitzgerald, early and often.

Avoiding the Missed Tackles


The Cardinals have another offensive weapon, running back David Johnson, who has taken advantage of the 49ers defense in years past. So it doesn't help the Niners have 50 missed tackles on the season, per PFF. That's an average of over 12 per game, and last week's second-half breakdown on defense against the Chargers was indicative of this.

Johnson will look to take advantage of this issue, which puts more pressure on 49ers linebackers Reuben Foster (seven missed tackles) and Fred Warner (five missed tackles) to leave their impact, positively.

Should tackling be a non-issue for defensive coordinator Robert Saleh and Co., the Niners should have little trouble pulling off the win.