LISTEN: Brock Purdy's MVP Case With NBC Sports' Peter King →
placeholder image

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

49ers have any-given-Sunday mentality entering matchup with once-overlooked Cardinals

Sep 28, 2023 at 7:06 AM--

Videos are auto-populated by an affiliate. This site has no control over the videos that appear above.
The San Francisco 49ers are not looking past their next opponent, the 1-2 Arizona Cardinals. That one win came this past weekend against the favored Dallas Cowboys, a team, like the Niners, with championship aspirations.

The Cardinals may be looking up at the Niners in the NFC West standings, but inside the 49ers locker room, players see a team with a lot of fight. San Francisco is a two-touchdown favorite, but the team won't take its foot off the gas this weekend.

"They had every chance to win versus Washington in Week 1," head coach Kyle Shanahan said Wednesday. "I believe that they should have. I forget the exact score, but I want to say it was like 27-7 in the third quarter versus the Giants, and they had every chance to win that, and it got away from them at the end.

"Dallas was very similar, but they didn't turn it over there at the end, and they kept finishing and keeping them out of the red zone and ended up not being close. So, they're a team that really should be 3-0 right now."

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

Players had the weekend off thanks to the 49ers playing last Thursday night. It allowed defensive end Nick Bosa to watch Arizona's win over Dallas on television. It was the star pass rusher's first time watching either team this season.

"Arizona looked like a really solid team that was playing harder than Dallas," Bosa told reporters on Wednesday.

That makes the Cardinals a very dangerous opponent. The Cardinals desperately need another win if they hope to keep pace in the NFC West.

"Obviously, any team can be beat on any given Sunday, and that's what happened," safety Tashaun Gipson said. "But I don't think it's like a Cinderella story. They're actually a solid football team. They're running the ball effectively. The quarterback is playing good football. The defense is bend, don't break. So they're playing good football right now.

"When you really watch the tape, they [were] the more physical team. And that typically [results in] wins in this league."

Linebacker Fred Warner also watched the Cardinals upset the Cowboys and immediately knew that the 49ers' upcoming game would not be a gimme.

"I was pretty impressed," Warner told reporters on Wednesday. "I think the Cowboys are looking at it like, man, we didn't show up to play. But hats off to the Cardinals, and the way that they played, and the way they executed. And they've shown the effort and the play style all three games to start.

"Everybody was talking about, in the preseason, them tanking and all that kind of stuff, and they've showed up and showed otherwise."

Was it a trap game for the Cowboys? Did they mistakenly look past the Cardinals in that Week 3 matchup?

"I don't think Dallas thought that Arizona was going to come out there and handle the game in [the way] they did, and it results [in] a win for them," Gipson said. "So for us, it's just we don't take opponents lightly, obviously. The Dallas Cowboys is a different opponent than the Cardinals, from the outside perception, but that's an NFL football team. They got Pro Bowlers on the team. They got good players. So obviously, we can't take our matchup lightly.

"But seeing how they came out there against Dallas, the most dangerous team is a team that really feels like they have nothing to lose. I think that's a dangerous person. Right now, they're playing fearless, they're playing confident, and it's showing on tape right now."

Defensive end Kerry Hyder notes that no NFL team should be taken for granted. It's a league filled with the best of the best, and that demands respect.

"It's the NFL. Every team has good players," Hyder said. "We're the top 2,000 in the world at what we do, so if you think you're going to roll it out there and beat anybody, it's not going to work. We got to bring our lunch pail and get ready to work every week."

Cardinals quarterback Joshua Dobbs is one of four quarterbacks who have yet to throw an interception this season. He is joined by Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers, C.J. Stroud of the Houston Texans, and Brock Purdy of the 49ers. However, San Francisco's defense will be tasked with ensuring the quarterback doesn't rack up yards with his legs, too.

Bosa points out that Dobbs doesn't like to slide when he pulls down the football and takes off running.

"He's going to try and get extra yards like a running back, and we have to pressure him," Bosa said. "I don't think many teams have gotten good pressure on him yet."

The 49ers believe they can contain Dobbs, forcing the Cardinals quarterback to question taking off into the heart of last year's top-ranked defense.

"Every quarterback is a running back until you see [LB Dre] Greenlaw and [LB] Fred [Warner] out there," Gipson said. "We'll see how much he wants to slide. We'll circle back Sunday after the game."

Don't take those comments as disrespect, though. The 49ers safety admires what Dobbs has accomplished this season when most counted him out.

"That's part of him being fearless," Gipson continued. "I mean, honestly, they have a franchise quarterback in Kyler Murray, so right now, the best thing he can do is just let it go. And I think that's exactly what he's doing. I tip my head off to him. I've got nothing but respect for him as a player.

"He's playing confident. He's playing fearless. At the end of the day, what more can you ask for, for your quarterback? Protect the ball and make plays when the opportunity comes, and he's been doing that."

Related News

Facebook Comments

More San Francisco 49ers News

placeholder image

Is this the most balanced 49ers team under Kyle Shanahan? Any Zach Ertz interest?

By David Bonilla
Dec 4

Head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have crafted an impressive roster since joining the San Francisco 49ers in 2017. On Sunday, the team strengthened its case as the best in the NFL by dismantling the defending NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles. After a three-game skid in October, the team has been firing on all cylinders, excelling both offensively and defensively. This was evident in the 42-19 rout of the Eagles. During a conference call with reporters on Monday, head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked if this team is the most well-balanced roster he has had during his tenure and whether that influences his aggressiveness in handling play-calling

placeholder image

Nick Bosa confident ahead of 49ers-Eagles matchup, surprised by Chase Young's quick impact

By David Bonilla
Nov 28

There was significant offseason banter between the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles following the NFC Championship Game. While the Eagles came out on top, the 49ers felt they couldn't showcase their true capabilities due to quarterback Brock Purdy's early-game UCL injury in his throwing arm. The two teams have been on a Week 13 collision course throughout the season, with the possibility of meeting again in the postseason. Sunday's highly anticipated game will showcase two red-hot teams, offering the 49ers a chance to demonstrate what might have been. "I ain't going to keep going on about what could've happened and what would've happened, but yeah, it would've definitely been a different outcome," remarked 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel during the

placeholder image

"May the best team win": Deebo Samuel anticipates exciting 49ers-Eagles matchup

By David Bonilla
Nov 28

This Sunday features one of the most anticipated matchups of the season. The San Francisco 49ers (8-3) will travel to face the Philadelphia Eagles (10-1) in a rematch of last season's NFC Championship Game. The Eagles are riding a five-game winning streak, while the 49ers have won three straight since stumbling through October. Fans have had the Week 13 matchup circled on their calendars since the schedule was released in May. "We know everybody's going to be riled up for this game, and we just got to stay level-headed and just go out there and play Niner football," wide receiver Deebo Samuel told Kay Adams on Tuesday morning. Any loss leaves a bitter taste, but a playoff loss is particularly devastating. Samuel, who has been to the NFC Championship

placeholder image

49ers vs. Eagles: How to watch, stream, and listen to the Week 13 matchup

By Site Staff
Nov 29

The San Francisco 49ers hit the road for the second consecutive week as they take on the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. This matchup marks the 37th overall in a series that the 49ers lead 21-14-1 and the first time that the two teams have met since last season's NFC Championship Game. The 49ers look to improve to 11-6-1 when visiting the Eagles. Previous game San Francisco is coming off a 31-13 victory against the Seattle Seahawks on Thanksgiving night. The offense was led by RB Christian McCaffrey, who rushed for 114 yards on 19 carries and registered two rushing touchdowns. WR Deebo Samuel added a rushing touchdown and tallied a team-high 79 receiving yards on seven receptions. QB Brock Purdy completed 21 of his 30 passing attempts for 209


Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone