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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Potential trap game? Talanoa Hufanga, 49ers not looking past Cardinals, Joshua Dobbs

Sep 27, 2023 at 9:21 AM--

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Everyone is excited about the Week 5 matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys, two Super Bowl hopefuls in the NFC. However, the Niners have a game scheduled before that clash of conference titans.

San Francisco will host the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, and there is no way head coach Kyle Shanahan or his players are looking past their next opponent. After all, the Cardinals are coming off a stunning 28-16 win over the Cowboys.

"If I told you we were looking ahead to Dallas, we'd be in a bad situation," safety Talanoa Hufanga said Tuesday morning on KNBR's "Murph and Mac" show. "I got great people around me, great coaches that are prepping us for Arizona. It's a great team.

"They've beat Dallas. I know they lost to the Giants (with the 49ers having beaten New York), and it's kind of that three-way game right there, but anybody can get beaten any given day. So for us, in our mind, is to go 1-0 this week and to focus on the team ahead of us. And very grateful just to have the [opportunity]."

Cardinals quarterback Joshua Dobbs is one of four quarterbacks who have yet to throw an interception this season. The others are Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers, C.J. Stroud of the Houston Texans, and Brock Purdy of the 49ers.

Dobbs' 72.0 completion percentage ranks fourth in the NFL, and his 98.1 passer rating ranks ninth.

"Just glad just to go up against the best," Hufanga said of the Cardinals quarterback. "And a guy like him is going to give us his best each and every week. And so for us, just to go out there and do what we got to do to get the win, just got to be determined and focused and demand what we can dictate from the defense, for sure."

That defense has picked up right where it left off last season. The difference is that defensive coordinator Steve Wilks is leading the unit, replacing DeMeco Ryans. The 49ers defense is currently ranked No. 5 in points allowed, No. 3 in yards allowed, and No. 3 in rushing yards allowed.

"It's been a blessing for me, and I think other guys would attest to this," Hufanga shared. "We're just grateful for what [Wilks] brings to the room—I think the energy, the focus, the discipline, and just the knowledge. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: just the knowledge that he brings into a room is unbelievable, and allowing us to go out there and play free.

"He's not going to put us in spots that he doesn't believe that we can be successful in. And so, at the end of day, we just got to go out there and put our foot forward and continue to fight each and every day."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Hufanga below.

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