The season is finally upon us. No more guessing, wondering how this piece fits with this team. Let’s get between the numbers and fight it out.
Why the 49ers will win: Most teams, when making it to a Superbowl, get picked apart through Free Agency. The 49ers however, have brought back almost their entire starting roster from 2019. Losing Deforest Buckner will hurt the defensive line a bit, as will Emmanuel Sanders departing in free agency. The Cardinals return a unit that finished 28th in Team Defense. If Mostert and the running attack gets started early, I believe the 49ers win this one easily. I have never been high on rookies in their first game. Attack Isaiah Simmons early and often in the run game. Give him his “Welcome to the NFL” moment. Defensively, we have Joey Bosa and Dee Ford ready to wreak havoc on an offensive line that gave up 48 sacks last year. The coaches scheme up a good plan to limit DeAndre Hopkins, while at the same time keeping an eye on the ageless wonder, Larry Fitzgerald.
Why the Cardinals will win: Kyler Murray has a full year in Kingsbury’s deadly scheme. The fast paced Air-Raid attack, combined with new addition Deandre Hopkins, should produce immediate results. The stress put on defenses from guarding Hopkins on one side, and Fitzgerald on another will force defenses to make some tough decisions. Add in Christian Kirk out of the slot, and combine this with the unique speed of Kyler Murray, and I believe we may be in for a year reminiscent of Lamar Jackson’s MVP campaign. In this one, Hopkins takes over and has one of his un-guardable games. Kenyan Drake shows that he isn’t a one year wonder, gashing the defense for big runs over and over again.
Prediction: Unfortunately I have us losing this one. Kingsbury is an offensive genius, the likes of which we haven’t seen in a while. He utilizes his weapons well, and Kyler makes sacks difficult to come by. We don’t start the season the way we want, but we will try to rebound next week.