The final day of regular season football will be this weekend. On Sunday, there will be a 49ers vs Cardinals matchup that can impact playoff seeding, with some help from other teams. It is also the last chance for players to beat regular season records. The 49ers need to win in order to maintain the second seed in the NFC unless the Vikings lose in the earlier time slot. If San Francisco win and the New York Giants defeat the Philadelphia Eagles, the 49ers will be the number one seed. Despite that being an unlikely scenario, here are which San Francisco players to watch in the 49ers vs Cardinals game this weekend.
49ers vs Cardinals: Nick Bosa
49ers star defensive end Nick Bosa still has not tied the single-season sack record by a 49ers player. While he was the reason for the interception that put the 49ers in field goal range last weekend, Bosa did not have any sacks. In the 49ers vs Cardinals game this weekend, this is Bosa’s last chance to get the two sacks to tie it, or maybe three sacks to beat the record.
Ahead of the final regular season game, Bosa has had a total of 49 combined tackles, 39 of them solo, and 17.5 sacks, according to ESPN. He also has forced two fumbles this season and has had one pass deflection. On Wednesday, the Arizona Cardinals announced that quarterback David Blough will be starting for the team. It will be extremely important for San Francisco to not underestimate Blough. Last weekend Bosa admitted the defense may have underestimated quarterback Jarrett Stidham, and the team will not want a repeat of that.
As long as Bosa plays as well as everyone knows he can, it is possible for him to tie the record, which is 19.5 sacks. Last time there was a 49ers vs Cardinals matchup, San Francisco won 38-10, and was able to pull out their starters. According to ESPN, Bosa had just one sack that night, and will hopefully want to do better.
49ers vs Cardinals: Deebo Samuel
Although there has been no confirmation, wide receiver Deebo Samuel may play in the 49ers vs Cardinals game this Sunday. It was reported by the team that Samuel was a full participant in practice on Wednesday. Samuel has not played since San Francisco’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when he got hurt. The wide receiver may not get the ball as often as usual, as he is only just returning and playoffs begin next week, but will still be a player to watch.
This season, Samuel has played in just 12 games. According to ESPN, this year he has had 54 receptions for 612 yards and two touchdowns. As many know, Samuel is a dual threat and can also run with the ball. Samuel has rushed the ball 41 times for 228 yards and three touchdowns. Samuel may not rush the ball too often during this weekend’s 49ers vs Cardinals game in order to maintain his health, but will still be a player too much as he gets ready for the team’s playoff run.
49ers vs Cardinals: Jordan Mason
Running back Jordan Mason may get big chances during the 49ers vs Cardinals game this weekend. Fellow running back Christian McCaffrey is dealing with an ankle injury, and while he is not declared out, there is a chance that he either will not play or will not get many snaps. The team will not want him hurt during their playoff run. This leaves more room for the rookie Mason to get reps in the final regular season game.
This season, Mason has not seen the field too often, but he has been a solid player when he gets the chance. According to ESPN, Mason has rushed the ball 35 times for 230 yards. He averages 6.6 yards per run, always pushing as hard as he can. Last weekend against the Raiders, Mason scored his first career touchdown. There was pure joy on the field when he finally did it, and he will want more after that.
Even if McCaffrey is healthy, and while the team still wants the win, Mason will most likely get more reps this weekend. Another running back who has a chance to play this weekend is running back Elijah Mitchell. He has not yet been activated from the injured reserve, but his practice window has been opened. Similar to Samuel, if Mitchell does play, he probably will not get many snaps either, leaving more room for Mason in the 49ers vs Cardinals game.
The San Francisco 49ers currently hold the second seed in the NFC playoffs. If the Minnesota Vikings win their game, which will be played before the 49ers vs Cardinals game, San Francisco will need to win in order to maintain their spot. If the Vikings lose, the 49ers will clinch at least the second seed. The Philadelphia Eagles currently hold the first seed. If the Eagles lose and the 49ers win, San Francisco will take their spot. That does seem highly unlikely though, with the New York Giants most likely resting starters ahead of their playoff run.
The 49ers vs Cardinals game will be this Sunday. Be sure to watch for these players in the final regular season game.
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