s
s
Sections
Search
We don't just cover the North Bay. We live here.
Did You Know? In the first 10 days of the North Bay fire, nearly 1.5 million people used their mobile devices to visit our sites.
Already a subscriber?
iPhone
Wow! You read a lot!
Reading enhances confidence, empathy, decision-making, and overall life satisfaction. Keep it up! Subscribe.
Already a subscriber?
iPhone
Oops, you're out of free articles.
Until next month, you can always look over someone's shoulder at the coffee shop.
Already a subscriber?
iPhone
We don't just cover the North Bay. We live here.
Did You Know? In the first 10 days of the North Bay fire, we posted 390 stories about the fire. And they were shared nearly 137,000 times.
Already a subscriber?
iPhone
Supporting the community that supports us.
Obviously you value quality local journalism. Thank you.
Already a subscriber?
iPhone
Oops, you're out of free articles.
We miss you already! (Subscriptions start at just 99 cents.)
Already a subscriber?
iPhone
X

The "Follow This Story" feature will notify you when any articles related to this story are posted.

When you follow a story, the next time a related article is published — it could be days, weeks or months — you'll receive an email informing you of the update.

If you no longer want to follow a story, click the "Unfollow" link on that story. There's also an "Unfollow" link in every email notification we send you.

This tool is available only to subscribers; please make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.

Login

X

Please note: This feature is available only to subscribers; make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.

LoginSubscribe

GLENDALE, Arizona — One thing for certain about Sunday’s game between the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals: No team in the NFL will have a worse record than the team that loses this one.

The 49ers and Cardinals stagger into the game at 1-6. San Francisco has lost five in a row since its lone win of the season, a victory over Detroit on Sept. 16, back before quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo went down with a season-ending knee injury.

Arizona’s lone win came at San Francisco on Oct. 7.

It’s been a particularly tumultuous week for the Cardinals. They fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy last Friday, replacing him with quarterbacks coach Byron Leftwich. And three-time All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson asked to be traded, only to back off the request following a meeting with Cardinals President Michael Bidwill.

When times are tough, San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan said, coaches learn a lot about their players.

“Everyone is motivated when things are easy,” he said. “When things get really tough is when you find out who people truly are. Sometimes that is a necessity when you are trying to build a team and build an organization the right way. We went through a lot of it last year, and I thought we did have some pretty strong guys because we were able to start out 0-9 and finish 6-10.”

Arizona’s first-year coach Steve Wilks made the change at coordinator with his team ranked last or nearly last in the NFL in virtually every offensive category. But how much can be done in one week of practice with a new coordinator?

“I think he is trying to ease in,” Wilks said. “He’s not trying to, he says, ‘go cold turkey on it’ and switch everything. I think it’s going to be a slow, gradual process.”

When Arizona beat the 49ers 28-18, San Francisco dominated the game statistically but turned over the ball five times to zero for the Cardinals.

Here are some things to consider when the 49ers face the Cardinals:

Protect the ball

No team has been worse at protecting the ball than the 49ers and no team has been worse at taking it away. That has added up to the five straight losses. The Niners rank last in the league with three takeaways — tied for the fewest after seven games since the 1970 merger — and have committed the most with 18. San Francisco has committed 14 giveaways since its last takeaway on Sept. 30 against the Chargers.

“We can’t run away from it,” Shanahan said. “We keep talking about it, keep harping on it. We just go back to work and keep trying to get better.”

Rosen’s coordinator

Leftwich is the fifth coordinator that Arizona rookie quarterback Josh Rosen has had in the past five seasons.

“It’s not fun. If I could prefer it, I would have one offense, but that’s not really how it all worked out,” he said. “So, I’m just going to do the best I can with what I’ve got.”

Rosen is coming off his roughest outing, throwing three interceptions and fumbling twice in last Thursday night’s 45-10 loss to Denver. He continues to talk positively, though.

“I think what I have right now is a really good football team,” he said. “We are all underperforming a bit, but like I said in the past, I am very happy that we’re a really good football team playing not so well, as opposed to hitting our potential as a team take maybe doesn’t have as much potential.”

Where are wideouts?

The 49ers have struggled to generate much production from their wide receivers this season, with the group combining for just 64 catches for 798 yards through seven games. Several San Francisco receivers have been slowed by injuries, with Marquise Goodwin, Pierre Garcon, Trent Taylor and Dante Pettis all dealing with various ailments that have kept them out at times from practice and games.

“It definitely makes it a little bit tougher just not having the same guys getting the same reps every week,” quarterback C.J. Beathard said. “It’s nice to have a routine, same guys in there. Obviously, it would help to have everyone healthy as it would at any position, but that’s part of football and you’ve just got to go with the guys that you have in there and trust in them.”

Show Comment