Arizona Cardinals: DeAndre Hopkins Guides Team past NFC Champs

With DeAndre Hopkins and the Arizona Cardinals taking down the San Francisco 49ers, 24-20, on Sunday, we can’t help but focus on what this game means for both sides. And, of course, the impact D-Hop has on this Cards team.

Let’s break this game down as another Week 1 game in the NFL has us fans chirping.

Oh Hello Hopkins

In his first game with the Arizona Cardinals, DeAndre Hopkins caught 14 passes for 151 yards against a Niners defense that looked promising entering the new league year.

Hopkins gives Arizona and young quarterback Kyler Murray an elite, top-of-the-line target.

Honestly, as a fantasy football guy, I wasn’t sure how productive Hopkins would be with Murray throwing him balls.

However, it looks like the pair is going to be lethal.

Hopkins, 28, was targeted 16 times. It was 11 more targets than the second receiver (Larry Fitzgerald) got in this contest.

I love how D-Hop has left his mark on this club and his presence opens things up for other receivers on the Cards roster.

Look Out Above

DeAndre Hopkins and the Arizona Cardinals put the NFC West on notice with this victory over the defending NFC champion Niners.

Murray was only sacked twice in the ball game and he led the Cards in rushing with 91 yards and a score.

Arizona’s defense only allowed one San Fran runner to get above 50 yards on the ground. That was Raheem Mostert who tallied 56 yards on 15 carries.

Budda Baker had 15 total tackles for the Cardinals and the team outscored San Fran, 14-7, in the fourth quarter.

Yes, the Niners and Seattle Seahawks are good teams, but the Cardinals did show that they are a threat in that division.

Negative, Niners, Negative

The Niners were 2 for 11 on third-down conversions and were held to 10 points in the final three quarters of this game.

This loss to Arizona doesn’t spell doom by any stretch but it does beg the question: how good are the Niners going to be in 2020?

For this offense to be terribly quiet on the scoreboard during the second, third, and fourth periods is scary.

I understand Jimmy Garoppolo threw 259 yards and two scores, but San Francisco makes it a point to make sure he doesn’t hurt them. Therefore, they try to run the football consistently.

Kendrick Bourne led all Niners receivers in yards with 34 on two catches. It doesn’t help that Deebo Samuel is on the injured reserve list with a foot issue.

Fullback Kyle Juszczyk (41 yards, one catch), tight end George Kittle (44 yards, four catches), and Mostert (95 yards, four catches) were the top three pass-catchers in this game for the 49ers.

Final Thoughts

I fully expect the Arizona Cardinals to compete for a playoff spot this season with the talent they have accumulated.

They have playmakers on both sides of the football and with Pro Bowlers like DeAndre Hopkins and Chandler Jones you can’t help but get excited about the future of this franchise.

Oh and by the way, speaking of Pro Bowlers, the Niners will host pass-rusher Ziggy Ansah for another workout on Tuesday.

How did you feel about this game between the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers? Leave a comment below.

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Follow Fiuza on Twitter @MakinItBig1.

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