Arizona Cardinals defensive back Tyrann Mathieu on Tuesday revealed more of his team’s book on 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick during a radio interview.
Mathieu, a third-year pro, recorded two interceptions, including one he returned 33 yards for a touchdown in the Cardinals’ 47-7 victory over the 49ers on Sunday. Mathieu’s touchdown came two minutes after Justin Bethel had a 21-yard interception return for a touchdown. Kaepernick threw a career-worst four interceptions.
Mathieu said during his appearance on PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio that he was not taking any shots at Kaepernick or offensive coordinator Geep Chryst, but he said his film study of the 49ers made is easy for the Cardinals to “anticipate routes and get good breaks on the ball.”
“The world knows what type of quarterback Colin Kaepernick is,” Mathieu said. “Obviously, he’s a dual threat. He can beat you in the passing game, if you let him.
“A lot of their pass concepts are designed for him to run to his right, to our left, to make it an easier read and to make it an easier throw. Because you think about their passing game, a lot of those things are roll-out passes, so you basically cut the field in half and it makes it easier for the quarterback to read. But it also makes it easier for the defense to kind of anticipate where the ball is about to go.”
Mathieu and the Cardinals face the 49ers again on Nov. 29 at Levi’s Stadium. He said he expects the 49ers to make some adjustments, but he does not figure the club is capable of enacting dramatic changes during the season.
“I’m sure those guys are hearing this and they’re going to switch a few things here and there, but you talk about the NFL, and every team has an identity,” Mathieu said. “Some teams are able to get out of that identity for maybe a game or two. But most teams are going to stay the same because that’s what they’ve been coaching all offseason, all in the spring, and they’ve been practicing those plays for a very long time.
“I don’t expect much to change. But what I do expect is for them to come out and try to establish a passing game because they couldn’t do that last Sunday.”
Kaepernick completed just 9 of 19 passing attempts for 67 yards with no touchdowns and a career-low passer rating of 16.7.
Prior to Sunday’s game, Kaepernick had won four of five career starts against Arizona. He entered the game with nine touchdowns and one interception against the Cardinals for a passer rating of 106.2.