On Thursday, the Cardinals vs. 49ers live streamed online and televised game will kick off Week 5 of the 2016 NFL schedule. Both teams currently sit at 1-3 on the season and are in desperate need of a big victory. For the Arizona Cardinals, the start is especially surprising and tonight’s game comes on the heels of news that their starting quarterback will be out of action.
According to ESPN, Carson Palmer will be sidelined for tonight’s game, meaning backup Drew Stanton will get the start. Palmer left this past Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams due to concussion protocol and was ruled out for tonight. Larry Fitzgerald, one of Palmer’s favorite targets, seems ready to go and is confident in the replacement quarterback’s abilities.
Fitzgerald commented on his team’s mentality ahead of the game.
“We have to keep playing. We have to keep fighting.”
The Cardinals had a surprising start to their season as they dropped their opening game of the schedule against a Tom Brady-less New England Patriots team in Week 1. They bounced back in Week 2 with a strong 40-7 rout of Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but have since dropped two straight games. First, it was a 33-18 loss at Buffalo, and that was followed by a close 17-13 loss to the Rams. Now they’ll be on the road at Santa Clara to take on a San Francisco 49ers squad which has the exact same record.
The 49ers have been amongst plenty of controversy and conversation since the season started. Most of that came from former starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the national anthem before games. As a protest of several police incidents involving officers killing African-Americans, Kaepernick chose to kneel during the playing of the anthem. That led to some outcry and outrage, while others have started to support Kaepernick’s decision and even use their own types of protest during the anthem.
That said, the team is now 1-3 behind quarterback Blaine Gabbert. Expectations weren’t high for San Francisco coming into this latest season, and so far they’ve matched that. Their only win on the season is a 28-0 Week 1 victory over the Los Angeles Rams. That win came at home, giving the 49ers a 1-1 record at Levi’s Stadium this season.
Among the bright spots for the 49ers this season is their ground game. As Sports Illustrated reported, in last week’s loss to the Cowboys, their quarterback and running back combined for over 100 yards. The 49ers are currently No. 10 in the league with 114 rushing yards per game. Most of that is thanks to running back Carlos Hyde’s 299 total yards so far. Hyde also has four touchdowns. Quarterback Blaine Gabbert has thrown for just 728 yards and four touchdowns, with the team’s passing yards per game ranking No. 32 in the league ahead of this matchup. Expect to see plenty of rushing plays from both sides.
For tonight’s road game, the slumping Cardinals will be the favorites, according to Vegas Insider. Arizona was listed as a 3.5-point favorite earlier today, with an over/under points total of 42 for the complete game. In terms of winning the Super Bowl this season, Arizona had started the preseason amongst favorites to do so. Right now, they are listed at 25-to-1 odds to win it all, which has them ranked eighth overall. The 49ers are nowhere near that discussion despite a similar record, with current odds of 500-to-1 ranking them second to last.
Tonight’s game will be televised and live streamed online for viewers to watch. For television coverage, CBS will have the live NFL game on its various affiliate channels. To watch the Cardinals vs. 49ers game live stream online, viewers can watch via the NFL Twitter video below.
Next up for the Cardinals will be a home game against the New York Jets for Monday Night Football on October 17. San Francisco will play at Buffalo on Sunday, October 16. The Cardinals will host the 49ers for their second game of the season on November 13. With expectations so low for the 49ers team this season, it seems this should be Arizona’s game to take on Thursday night if they want to begin to turn their season around. It will be up to backup Drew Stanton to help right that ship.
[Featured Image by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]