NFL Week 5: Thursday Night Football – Arizona @ San Francisco

Arizona -3.5 @ SAN FRANCISCO 42

Friday October 7, 11:25am AEDT



Arizona lost their second game at home favoured by more than a touchdown this year last week. They are now 2-9 ats in their last 11 home games. As was the case last week, Arizona was pretty competitive in the game from a yardage standpoint but they committed five turnovers for the second straight game.

They rushed for 118 yards at 4.7ypr and held LA to just 41 yards rushing at 1.8ypr. But, they allowed the Rams 247 yards passing at 7.7yps. The Rams did score a td on a 65 yard pass that was broke for a long touchdown on a fluke play.

Without that they would have averaged about 5.9yps. Arizona managed to average 6.0yps. Overall, they out gained the Rams 5.6yppl to 5.2yppl. But, Arizona threw the ball 18 more times to somewhat skew the numbers.

SF jumped out to an early 14-0 lead over Dallas and was then outscored 24-3 the rest of the way. SF was out rushed 5.0ypr to 3.7ypr and gave up 194 yards rushing. They did manage to throw for 7.9yps while allowing Dallas 6.9yps. Overall, Dallas out gained the Niners 5.9yppl to 5.6yppl but they threw the ball 10 more times. They also ran 13 more times as they controlled the clock for about 13 more minutes in the game.

Arizona is 1-3 on the season but they average 4.4ypr against 3.7ypr but have been below average throwing the ball, gaining just 6.1yps against 6.6yps. Overall, they are slightly above average on offence gaining 5.5yppl against 5.4yppl. On defence they are allowing 4.1ypr against 3.8ypr but have been very good against the pass, allowing just 5.4yps against 6.0yps.

Overall on defence they allow 4.9yppl against teams averaging 5.0yppl. Basically, they are about an average team minus the turnovers but are only -1 in turnover margin. They were plus seven in turnovers the first two games and have been minus eight the last two games.

SF has been about average running the ball but well below average throwing the ball as they average just 5.9yps against 6.5yps and overall are gaining just 4.7yppl against teams allowing 5.4yppl. The defense has allowed 4.3ypr against 3.8ypr and 6.8yps against 6.6yps. Overall on defense SF allows 5.7yppl against 5.3yppl so they are below average on offense and defense.

Arizona will be without QB Carson Palmer. QB Drew Stanton will fill in. He is a capable back up. Tyvon Branch, who has played in the nickel spot for Arizona is now on injured reserve.

SF is without LB NaVorro Bowman who is out for the year. This is a major loss for SF. They are also without DL DeForest Buckner. The 49ers will also be without CB Jimmie Ward.

Over the last nine years Arizona has won only two games in SF. They won last year 19-13 as seven point favourites and won back in 2008 23-13 as 2.5 point favourites. They did lose in 2009 as a road favourite but the other years they were underdogs and sometimes hefty dogs in those games. So, going back to 2008, SF has been a road favourite three times in this game and won two of those games.

The Cardinals qualify in a fundamental rushing situation, which is 576-389-27. My numbers favour Arizona by two points in this game without considering the rushing situation. They also project about 49 points although those numbers assume Carson Palmer will play but he has been ruled out of this game.

Arizona figures to try and control this game on the ground limiting the chances Drew Stanton has of making a mistake. Arizona is the better team. If they can avoid the turnovers, control the clock and not make coverage mistakes on defence, which they’ve done the last few games, they should win this game.

This is do or die for Arizona. They are 1-3 on the year. They have tougher games on their schedule so they must win these games. If Arizona becomes a favourite of -3 or better I will consider them for a best bet. I would expect this game to be lower scoring as well. SF games in SF have now gone under in 15 of the last 17 games played here.




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