The San Francisco 49ers (5-9, 4-3 away) and Arizona Cardinals (8-6, 4-3 home) square off in Week 16 of the National Football League. These two teams kicked off the season against each other, with the Cardinals escaping with a 24-20 road victory in Week 1. The kickoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. EST inside State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ. Arizona is a 5-point favorite in their final home contest of the season.
What to Know – San Francisco 49ers
Injuries have caught up to the 49ers down the stretch, dropping six of their last seven contests while falling into last place in the NFC West standings. The good news for San Francisco is this game won’t feel like a road contest since the 49ers have played their last two home games in Glendale due to coronavirus restrictions in the Bay Area.
Nick Mullens got the start against the Cowboys, finishing with 219 yards passing, two touchdowns, and two interceptions on a 21-for-36 effort. Mullens was replaced in the fourth quarter by backup CJ Bethard, who completed 5-of-7 passes for 100 yards and a touchdown. Expect Bethard to get the nod under center in Saturday’s matchup.
Raheem Mostert carried the ball 14 times for 68 yards before leaving the game with an injury that ultimately ended his season. With no Mostert in the lineup, the 49ers will turn to Jeff Wilson Jr. (84 carries, 341 yards, six touchdowns) and Tevin Coleman (26 carries, 50 yards) to handle the rushing duties.
With no Deebo Samuel out wide either, the wide receiver duo of Kendrick Borne (four receptions, 86 yards, one touchdown) and rookie Brandon Aiyuk (nine receptions, 73 yards, one touchdown) were the primary targets for Mullens and San Francisco’s passing attack. Both should see their fair share of targets against the Cardinals.
What to Know – Arizona Cardinals
If the Cardinals can close out the season with four-straight wins, they lock themselves into a playoff spot for the first time since 2015. Arizona is halfway there with wins over the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles over the last two weeks.
Kyler Murray threw for a season-high 406 yards and added 29 yards on the ground in Sunday’s victory over the Eagles. Murray’s rushing score against Philadelphia tied him with Cam Newton for the most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback this season with 11.
Chase Edmonds (11 carries, 47 yards) and Kenyan Drake (10 carries, 26 yards) split the Arizona backfield carriers. Edmonds chipped in three receptions for 19 yards and a fourth receiving touchdown of the year.
The Cardinals’ passing attack terrorized the Eagles secondary as DeAndre Hopkins erupting with nine receptions for a season-high 169 yards. Hopkins hauled in his sixth touchdown and crossed the century mark in receiving yards for the seventh time this season.
The Pick is In
The 49ers quarterback room is in disarray that prompted San Francisco to pluck Josh Rosen from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ practice squad. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have covered four of their last five games against teams with a losing record. Expect Arizona’s offense to score in bunches against a depleted 49ers defense decimated by injuries.
The Pick: Arizona -5