Five things to watch in 49ers' 2020 opener vs. Cardinals

USA Today

The San Francisco 49ers are set to kick off their 2020 campaign on Sunday, matching up with division rivals early in the year by hosting the Arizona Cardinals in the season opener. There are a number of storylines for the 49ers heading into this weekend's game. With sights set on defending their NFC Championship title, here are five things to look for in the Week 1 divisional matchup.

Replicating Jimmy G's 2019 Success

Jimmy Garoppolo proved he's not just a "game manager" in both of last season's wins against the Cardinals. In the Halloween night thriller, the quarterback rattled off 317 yards and four touchdowns, as San Francisco defeated Arizona, 28-25. The quarterback followed up two weeks later with a season-high 424-yard, four-touchdown performance in the 36-26 victory.

The 49ers aim to follow suit in the season opener against a Cardinals defense that ranked second to last against the pass in 2019, with an average of 281.9 yards allowed per game, and dead last in passer rating allowed (109.9). Arizona didn't make many notable changes to its secondary this offseason, however, did add talent up front with the additions of defensive end Jordan Phillips and linebackers Devon Kennard and Isaiah Simmons. A beefed up defense will be the first challenge for San Francisco's new-look O-line in 2020.


Read the other storylines on 49ers.com