At the moment, a major concern for San Francisco 49ers fans is the air quality in the city. Rampant wildfires have wreaked havoc and affected the quality of air in the Bay area throughout the week.
The required AQI level to prevent an NFL game from being played is 200. A little earlier today, the AQI index was somewhere around 170. So it’s going to be tight.
Despite that uncertainty, both teams will be prepared for the game as they gear up to start their respective 2020 campaigns on Sunday. The 49ers start as firm favorites this year, having narrowly missed out on the Super Bowl Trophy last season.
Here’s a detailed look at both teams, along with injury updates and matchday predictions.
The 49ers have been busy in the offseason. They extended the contract of star TE George Kittle and Head Coach Kyle Shanahan. Both penned long-term deals that will keep them in San Francisco for the next 4-5 years.
They start the season as one of the most complete teams, in terms of attack and defense, at least on paper.
They’ve made some key additions over the course of the offseason. The 49ers brought in rookies Javon Kinlaw and Brandon Aiyuk in the 2020 NFL draft.
Shanahan was also reunited with the highly-rated RB Jerick McKinnon following a lengthy layoff due to an injury. He is expected to play a crucial role for the 49ers this year.
Arizona Cardinals’ Head Coach, Kliff Kingsbury, will hope to build on last year’s promising display. The Cardinals posted a 5-10 record in his first season as their gaffer.
They have added some massive talent to their roster this year in the form of former Houston Texans WR, DeAndre Hopkins. The veteran star extended his deal earlier this week, which keeps him in Arizona till 2025.
Rookie OLB Isaiah Simmons starts the season with great expectations as the Cardinals travel to Levi’s Stadium for their opening game. Kingsbury’s team will benefit from the experience that the likes of Larry Fitzgerald, Marcus Gilbert, and DJ Humphries bring to the table.
WR Deebo Samuel – Foot
CB Jason Verrett – Hamstring
WR Brandon Aiyuk – Hamstring
C Ben Garland – Ankle
T Josh Jones – Ankle
TE Maxx Williams – Ankle
The 49ers are expected to beat the Cardinals comfortably on Sunday. They are a superior team on paper by all means. They will be eager to overhaul their opponents from Sunday and send out a warning to teams across the NFC West Division.
Young Kyler Murray will be key for the Cardinals if they want to cause an upset at the Levi’s Stadium. Amidst all the ongoing chaos surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic and the California wildfires, both teams will hope to offer their fans some optimism and respite by securing a win during the opening weekend.