TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 17: Arizona Cardinals At San Francisco 49ers

Cardinals
49ers
Atlanta Falcons 23 - Arizona Cardinals 19
The number #2 QB of the San Francisco 49ers made news in 2012 when filling in for main man, Alex Smith. The number #1 question in everyone's minds was whether or not "Kaep" will take over the #1 spot, permanently.
The number #2 QB of the San Francisco 49ers made news in 2012 when filling in for main man, Alex Smith. The number #1 question in everyone's minds was whether or not "Kaep" will take over the #1 spot, permanently.
Quarterback
The Cardinals have little to offer. Ryan Lindley had decent numbers against the Bears, but he was simply dreadful as he missed open receivers repeatedly. The Cardinals went to Brian Hoyer, but he is not the answer either. Ken Whisenhunt knows that his team does not have a chance in this game unless the 49ers implode.
Winner Colin Kaepernick learned that it’s not so easy to go on the road and beat an inspired opponent in the Week 16 blowout loss to Seattle. No such problem this week against the putrid Cardinals. Kaepernick will not be under pressure to score with every possession against Arizona. He will get protection from his line and he should be able to pick Arizona apart.
Offense
The Cardinals’ offensive line has been awful and that’s something that’s going to take quite a while for this organization to fix. The Cardinals got a solid performance from running back Beanie Wells in Week 15 vs. the Lions, but his fumble in Week 16 gave the Bears their first touchdown and started the Arizona downfall. Larry Fitzgerald can threaten the San Francisco secondary.
Winner The 49ers have a solid running game and that’s still the most dependable aspect of their offense. Frank Gore runs with power and punishes opposing tacklers. Gore has rushed for 1,146 yards and has an average of 4.8 yards per carry. The Niners could be in trouble since Mario Manningham was carted off the field with a knee injury and tight end Vernon Davis suffered a concussion against Seattle.
Defense
The Cardinals are solid against the pass but they are weak against the run. Linebacker Daryl Washington is a remarkable player who leads the team with 123 tackles and he also has 9.0 sacks. Defensive end Calais Campbell has a disappointing 5.5 sacks but he has batted down six passes.
Winner The 49ers got pierced by Russell Wilson and the Seahawks, but look for a turnaround here. This unit is too good not to turn it around quickly. Aldon Smith is one of the best pass rushers in the league and he has 19.5 sacks. NaVorro Bowman may be the fastest linebacker in the league and he has a team-high 144 tackles.
Special Teams
Winner Jay Feely has a big leg and can hit field goals from as long as 60 yards. Dave Zastudil is a competent punter. Peterson has explosive speed and return ability, but he has not brought a punt back for a score. Kick returner William Powell is averaging 24.1 yards per return with a long of 65 yards.
David Akers has missed more than his share of FG attempts. Akers has a big leg and he can hit the long kicks, but he does not always keep them on track. He has made 27-of-38 FG attempts this season. Andy Lee is averaging 48.3 yards as a punter.

The Winner Is

The number #2 QB of the San Francisco 49ers made news in 2012 when filling in for main man, Alex Smith. The number #1 question in everyone's minds was whether or not "Kaep" will take over the #1 spot, permanently.
Winner 49ers
3 out of 4

The 49ers need to win this game in order to hold off the Seahawks and win the NFC West. While the Niners may be in the process of choking, it won’t show against the Cardinals, who are one of the worst teams in the NFL.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 4: Tight end Dennis Pitta #88 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates with teammate quarterback Joe Flacco #5 after scoring a second quarter touchdown against the Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 04:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks to throw a pass during the second half against the Los Angeles Rams at Gillette Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
    Week 14 Tale Of The Tape: Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots

    The Ravens and Patriots meet again in Gillette in what should be another great game.

  2. MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 1:  Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys hands the ball off to Ezekiel Elliott #21in the first half of the game agains the Minnesota Vikings on December 1, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 04:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants drops back to pass in the first quarter during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on December 4, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
    Week 14 Tale Of The Tape: Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants

    The NFC East rivals meet again in the Meadowlands as the Cowboys look to avenge their only loss of the year.

  3. SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 04: Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks passes during warmups before a game against the Carolina Panthers at CenturyLink Field on December 4, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 04:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers is pressured by Christian Covington #95 of the Houston Texans during the first half of a game at Lambeau Field on December 4, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
    Week 14 Tale Of The Tape: Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers

    The Seahawks travel to Lambeau for a match-up with the resurgent Pack.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS San Francisco

Get The New CBS SF Bay Area Local App
Got Our Weather App?
Listen to Radio.com Anywhere, Anytime!

Listen Live