Why Cardinals won't catch 49ers 'by surprise' in Week 1


In two matchups a season ago, the 49ers and Cardinals shared the field for two high-scoring, competitive games. San Francisco nearly took its first loss in Week 9, escaping a physical Thursday Night Football game in Arizona with a 28-25 win. Just two weeks later, the 49ers won 36-26 at Levi’s Stadium, but trailed by two entering the fourth quarter.

In 2020, the 49ers will open up the season against Arizona, in a game scheduled to kick off at 1:25 p.m. PT from Levi’s Stadium on Sunday (air quality permitting). Although NBC Sports NFL analyst Chris Simms came away very impressed by the Cardinals last season, he still firmly believes it will be the 49ers coming out on top in Week 1.

“I still don’t think that team in totality, is on the level of the San Francisco 49ers,” Simms told NBC Sports Bay Area. “Plus, Arizona’s defense was pretty damn bad last year. Yes I know Arizona played the 49ers tough last year and all of that, I don’t think the 49ers will be caught by surprise by them this time around.”

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Simms expressed the utmost confidence in the 49ers, but also gave some pretty high praise to Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, who took home the Offensive Rookie of the Year with Arizona last season.

“Kyler Murray, I mean he’s a superstar,” Simms said. “I wouldn’t be shocked if he was one of the five best quarterbacks in football when it’s all said and done this year.”


The 49ers’ vaunted defense gets a formidable foe in Week 1, which should make Sunday’s game an entertaining one, to say the least.

49ers Faithful however, like Simms, should be tuning in Sunday with plenty of confidence in coach Kyle Shanahan’s team.