PFF Preview: 49ers @ Cardinals, Week 3
The first NFC West clash of the 2014 season will see both the 49ers and Cardinals looking to get a jump on the division with a win in the desert.
All signs point to the Cardinals being forced to send out seven-year pro Drew Stanton in place of the injured Carson Palmer (shoulder) for the second week in a row. Stanton did enough to keep Arizona’s undefeated record alive against the beleaguered Giants last week despite a -1.7 pass grade, but he faces a taller task this week against the 49ers. Stanton completed just 37.5% of his passes under pressure (52.4% in a clean pocket) in Week 2, so look for San Francisco to try to keep him under duress.
‘Try’ may be the operative word, however. The 49ers have not applied much pressure to opposing QB’s so far this season and may need to stray from their usual defensive concepts by sending extra men this week if they hope to take advantage of Stanton’s inaccuracy under pressure.
Here are three noteworthy numbers for each team:
San Francisco 49ers
Colin Kaepernick – Has the the second-highest percentage of Yards in the Air at 69.9% (passing yards with yards after catch removed). Trailing only Austin Davis of the Rams.
Frank Gore – Is one of only 10 running backs with at least 10 pass-blocking snaps still flawless in pass protection through two games.
Antoine Bethea – Holds the third-best Run Stop Percentage among eligible safeties with his 18.2% score. He also has a team-high +2.4 coverage grade.
Andre Ellington – Of his 147 rushing yards, 70 have come on four breakaway runs (runs of 15 yards or more). That 47.6% is fifth-highest among RBs.
Antonio Cromartie – Is the only member of the Cardinals’ defense with coverage grades in the green for both games in 2014 (+3.5 total).
Lyle Sendlein – Has not given up a single pressure in 75 pass-blocking snaps. One of only six eligible centers who can make that claim (Kilgore also).
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