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Arizona at San Francisco

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Arizona
Cardinals
11-4
2nd NFC WEST
(3-2)
Sunday, December 28, 2014 - 4:25 PM EST
TV: FOX
Avg. Yds (Rk)CategoryAvg. Yds (Rk)
233.9 (16th)Pass Off.191.6 (30th)
80.7 (30th)Rush Off.131.3 (6th)
264.2 (30th)Pass Def.215.5 (5th)
102.2 (8th)Rush Def.100.9 (7th)
Levi's Stadium
Santa Clara, CA
a mixture of sun and clouds. Cool. 54 F, Wind: 5.83 mph/E
San Francisco
49ers
7-8
3rd NFC WEST
(1-4)
 
  • The Arizona Cardinals still have a chance to win the NFC West, though their situation at quarterback could remain a complete unknown until just prior to kickoff.

    The San Francisco 49ers, meanwhile, are closing out the season with a proven commodity as their coach ??? for now.

    Rookie Logan Thomas was slated to make his first career start for the visiting Cardinals on Sunday in what could be Jim Harbaugh's final game as 49ers coach, but Arizona coach Bruce Arians may have changed his mind about who will be under center.

    Arizona (11-4) could have gained the West crown and the top seed in the NFC last Sunday but was routed 35-6 at home by Seattle, which forged a tie atop the division.

    The Cardinals now must defeat the 49ers (7-8) and hope the Seahawks stumble at home against St. Louis in order to capture the division.

    "It's not the end of the world," Arians said. "Obviously, we would have liked to have it they easy way, but our goals haven't changed."

    What briefly changed was that Arians demoted Ryan Lindley, who fell to 1-4 in his career as a starter after completing 18 of 44 passes for 216 yards with one interception last weekend. Lindley has never thrown a TD pass in 225 attempts with eight interceptions.

    Arians had said Monday he was leaning toward Thomas and then told a local radio station that the rookie would start. Arizona has no touchdowns in its last two games.

    "We need to find out what he can do for the future and the playoffs, if it were to come to that," Arians said. "That's my job - to make sure that we cover every base."

    However, reports surfaced Thursday saying Arians had gone back to favoring Lindley, who worked with the No. 1 unit in the brief portion of the day's practice that was open to reporters. Arians did not address the media afterward and offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin was less than forthcoming about the matter.

    "I guess we'll see on Sunday," Goodwin said.

    The dilemma may not be one the Cardinals have to endure since they're still hoping to get Drew Stanton back for the playoffs. The veteran hurt his knee Dec. 11 after getting the job when Carson Palmer went down with a season-ending knee injury.

    Thomas, a fourth-round pick out of Virginia Tech, took one snap Sunday and threw an incomplete pass. His only other action was when he went 1 for 8 with an 81-yard touchdown strike to running back Andre Ellington - who is also out for the season - in relief of Stanton in a 41-20 loss Oct. 5 at Denver.

    The future for Harbaugh appears to be elsewhere even though he guided the 49ers to the NFC title game in each of his first three seasons with one Super Bowl appearance before missing the playoffs this year.

    He turned 51 on Tuesday and received a congratulatory Tweet from his alma mater Michigan, one of Harbaugh's numerous suitors. The coach didn't address any speculation about his future Monday.

    "What will happen will happen, what won't happen won't happen," he said. "Like the players, like the coaches, we're dedicated to doing our job, finish what you start. That's the mindset."

    He's not the only one who could be with San Francisco for the final time. Frank Gore, the club's all-time rushing leader, may not be back as he enters the finale needing 38 yards for his fourth straight season with at least 1,000.

    "Hopefully, I'll be back," Gore said. "The organization, they love me and they respect me. I want to be back ... I was raised here. I don't know nothing else."

    In addition, defensive tackle Justin Smith could be leaning toward retirement.

    The 49ers may think twice about how to proceed with linebacker Aldon Smith, who served a nine-game suspension at the start of the year for violations of the NFL's substance-abuse and personal-conduct policies. Smith admitted this week that he visited Ray McDonald's home for a short time on the day the ex-49ers defensive lineman is accused of sexually assaulting a woman.

    San Francisco has won five straight at home over Arizona and took nine of 10 meetings overall before suffering a 23-14 road loss Sept. 21. Rookie John Brown caught two TD passes from Stanton, while the 49ers were penalized nine times for 107 yards.

    The Niners, who led by eight at halftime in that contest, have had a habit of blowing leads this season - including a 21-point edge at the break that they let slip away in last Saturday's 38-35 overtime loss to San Diego.

    Colin Kaepernick was held to a season-low 114 passing yards, though he rushed for 151 ??? a career best in a regular-season game - thanks mostly to a spectacular 90-yard TD.

    This four-game slide is the club's longest under Harbaugh and worst since a 0-5 start to 2010 ??? the season before he took over.

    Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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    Panthers defensive line coach Eric Washington was happy to play the role of Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.
  • Offensive Matchup

    Total Yards
    Per Game
    314.6
    322.9
    Passing Yards
    Per Game
    233.9
    191.6
    Rushing Yards
    Per Game
    80.7
    131.3
    Points Per Game
    19.5
    19.1
    Third Down
    Conversion %
    40.2
    40.3
    Time of
    Possesion
    29:45
    31:23
    Cardinals
    49ers

    Defensive Matchup

    Total Yards
    Per Game
    366.4
    316.4
    Passing Yards
    Per Game
    264.2
    215.5
    Rushing Yards
    Per Game
    102.2
    100.9
    Points Per Game
    18.6
    21.5
    Third Down
    Conversion %
    37.4
    43.5
    Cardinals
    49ers
  • Arizona Injuries
    DatePosPlayerInjuryNFL StatusFantasy News
    12/21/14DBChris ClemonsKneeOUTThe Cardinals have listed QB Drew Stanton, WR Brittan Golden, S Chris Clemons, G Jonathan Cooper, NT Alameda Ta'amu, OL Anthony Steen, DE Kareem Martin as inactive Week 16 against the Seahawks. 
    12/21/14QBDrew StantonKneeOUTCardinals coach Bruce Arians has changed his mind and will start quarterback Ryan Lindley, not rookie Logan Thomas, in Sunday's game at San Francisco, reports the Arizona Republic. Lindley hit 18 of 44 throws for 216 yards with an interception in the Week 16 loss to Seattle. He has not thrown a touchdown in 225 career pass attempts.
    09/18/14RBJonathan Dwyer NFICardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer pleaded not guilty Monday to charges he assaulted his wife during two arguments in July at their Phoenix apartment, according to the Associated Press.
    05/30/14LBDaryl WashingtonSuspensionSUSPENDCardinals linebacker Daryl Washington has been suspended for the entire 2014 season for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. He was suspended four games last season for violating the same policy. 
    San Francisco Injuries
    DatePosPlayerInjuryNFL StatusFantasy News
    12/23/14LBAhmad BrooksThumbQUESTIONABLE49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said Tuesday cornerback Perrish Cox and linebacker Ahmad Brooks are both questionable with their respective injuries for Sunday's game against the Cardinals.
    12/22/14DBPerrish CoxShoulderQUESTIONABLE49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said Tuesday cornerback Perrish Cox and linebacker Ahmad Brooks are both questionable with their respective injuries for Sunday's game against the Cardinals.
    12/21/14LBAldon SmithHeadLEFTThe 49ers have already placed 16 players on the injured-reserve this season and could be without a few more for the season finale in Week 17 against the Cardinals.
    12/20/14DBTramaine BrockHamstringOUTThe 49ers have listed the following players as inactive for Saturday's Week 16 matchup against the Chargers: running back Carlos Hyde (ankle), wide receiver Steve Johnson (knee), cornerback Tramaine Brock (hamstring), linebacker Ahmad Brooks (thumb), quarterback Josh Johnson and guards Andrew Tiller and Joe Looney.
    12/20/14WRBruce EllingtonHamstringLEFT49ers wide receiver Bruce Ellington tallied three rushing attempts for 12 yards and a touchdown and added an eight-yard touchdown reception in his team's 38-35 overtime loss to the Chargers in Week 16.
    12/20/14RBCarlos HydeAnkleOUT49ers rookie running back Carlos Hyde missed practice again Wednesday with an ankle injury. He sat out Week 16 and appears likely to miss Sunday's game against Arizona, too.
    12/20/14WRSteve JohnsonKneeOUTThe 49ers have listed the following players as inactive for Saturday's Week 16 matchup against the Chargers: running back Carlos Hyde (ankle), wide receiver Steve Johnson (knee), cornerback Tramaine Brock (hamstring), linebacker Ahmad Brooks (thumb), quarterback Josh Johnson and guards Andrew Tiller and Joe Looney.
    12/20/14WRBrandon LloydGroinLEFT49ers wide receiver Brandon Lloyd is questionable to return to Saturday's game with a groin injury, while safety Bubba Ventrone (groin) and wide receiver Bruce Ellington (hamstring) have been ruled out, the team announced.
    12/20/14DBLeon McFaddenHeadLEFT49ers cornerback Leon McFadden is questionable to return to Saturday's Week 16 game against the Chargers due to a head injury, the team announced. McFadden had yet to record a tackle in Saturday's game at the time of his injury.
    12/20/14DBEric ReidConcussionLEFTThe 49ers have already placed 16 players on the injured-reserve this season and could be without a few more for the season finale in Week 17 against the Cardinals.
    07/18/14RBTrey MillardKneeNFIThe 49ers made several moves to trim the roster to 75 players Monday.
    07/18/14DBKeith ReaserKneeNFIThe 49ers officially opened the practice window for linebacker NaVorro Bowman and  three other players on Tuesday, according to Pro Football Talk. Bowman, along with tight end Garrett Celek, offensive lineman Brandon Thomas and cornerback Keith Reaser will have three weeks to be added to the 53-man active roster or their seasons will be lost.
  • Expert Picks
    Straight UpAgainst the Spread
    SF -4.5 *
    expert photoPete Prisco
    CardinalsCardinals
    49ers49ers
    expert photoWill Brinson
    CardinalsCardinals
    expert photoJosh Katzowitz
    49ers49ers
    expert photoRyan Wilson
    CardinalsCardinals
    expert photoJohn Breech
    49ers49ers
    expert photoDave Richard
    49ers49ers
    CardinalsCardinals
    expert photoPrediction Machine
    49ersN/A
    * Line at the time that expert picks were published.
 
 
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