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hongwei28 · 6 months ago
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 Trevor Williams Jersey , 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 BALLNo 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 Cheap Derwin James Jersey ," 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 COORDINATORLeftwich 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 THE 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 Cheap Melvin Gordon Jersey , 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."ROOKIE RECEIVERWhile Arizona's offense has been awful, Christian Kirk is off to a good start to his NFL career.Kirk, a second-round draft pick out of Texas A&M who grew up in suburban Phoenix, leads NFL rookie wide receivers with 28 catches. He is on pace for 64 receptions, which would be second most in Cardinals history: Anquan Boldin caught 101 passes as an Arizona rookie in 2004.LEFTWICH'S RISELeftwich has made a rapid rise to coordinator in his coaching career. He was a coaching intern under Bruce Arians two seasons ago and was promoted to quarterbacks coach by Arians last season.When Wilks replaced Arians, he kept Leftwich in the QB coaching job.AP Sports Writer Josh Dubow contributed to this report Even though he says he's not paying that much attention to it, David Johnson says he's "very encouraged" about ongoing contract talks between his agent and the Arizona Cardinals."They said they're going to continue to talk and hopefully we can get a deal done soon Cheap Philip Rivers Jersey ," he said.The standout running back held out during the team's three-day minicamp but has been a full participant in training camp, and had a pair of impressive runs to start Saturday night's preseason 24-17 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers."I'm letting my agent handle it," he said. "I really want to focus on football because I don't want to hinder my play on the field."Johnson said he believes the Cardinals and the team's fan base know how good he is, but he believes others around the NFL may have forgotten. He's out to remind them and prove he's worth a big contract.An All-Pro selection in 2016, when he led the NFL in yards from scrimmage and touchdowns, Johnson fractured his left wrist in the 2017 season opener and hadn't played since — until those two carries against the Chargers.The injury is what is holding up a contract, he believes."I didn't play last year," Johnson said. "I was hoping that my production from my second year and what I did get in the first year would help out, but the NFL is what have you done for me lately. So hopefully I can prove it."Johnson, a third-round draft pick out of Northern Iowa in 2015, is set to make $1.9 million in this the fourth and final year of his rookie contract. That's far, far below what other big-time running backs will earn.Johnson said he was "a little anxious but not rusty" when he made his return to the game.In each of his two carries, the big Cheap Keenan Allen Jersey , fast back gained 14 yards behind a revamped offensive line that cleared the way for him."The biggest thing I was pumped up about is how easy it was for me to get through the holes," Johnson said. "They were gaping holes. The guys up front blocked very well for me."New coach Steve Wilks wants an offense that emphasizes power running and that's what he got from the first unit in its only series against LA, which culminated with a 2-yard TD run by Johnson's hard-running backup, rookie Chase Edmonds.New quarterback Sam Bradford, who completed his only pass for 6 yards, said the Cardinals established just what they wanted to in that opening series."We've talked all preseason, really all camp, about coming out and establishing our physicality in being able to run the football," Bradford said after practice Tuesday. "For us to be able to come out and do what we did I think is extremely encouraging just because it's something that has been an emphasis and something that has been talked about so much."What the Cardinals didn't see is Johnson as a receiver. He caught 80 passes for 879 yards two seasons ago (along with 1,239 yards rushing in 293 attempts)."I want to be on the field as much as possible," Johnson said, "third downs have me split out at receiver. Not just third downs, but any play whenever we think I have an advantage over the defender Drew Kaser Jersey , hopefully I can be split out or coming out of the backfield as a receiver."Bradford marveled at how Johnson has run routes as a receiver in practice."I mean, he's pretty impressive," Bradford said. "Today at practice, just watching him run routes, I think he might be one of our best route runners, regardless of position. He's just so smooth. He's so versatile as a running back that there are so many different things you can do with him."Last week, watching him take the first two carries for 14 yards, that's what he's best at. We've just got to find ways to give him opportunities to make plays like that."The Cardinals went through their final outdoor practice Tuesday. They will break Arizona's shortest training camp in recent memory with a workout Wednesday inside University of Phoenix Stadium.The Cardinals are at New Orleans in their second preseason game on Friday night and are to return to work out Sunday at the team's practice facility some 40 miles to the east in Tempe.Notes: Arizona signed wide receiver Austin Wolf, an undrafted rookie free agent from Akron, and released wide receiver Richard Ross. Custom New Orleans Saints Jerseys 

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