Air Power Academy, Colorado. The 49ers are betting that after a chilly week right here, their lungs are prepared for the 7,218-foot summit that’s Azteca Stadium, the place they play in opposition to the Arizona Cardinals on Monday evening in Mexico Metropolis.
Excessive-altitude acclimatization isn’t all they’ve encountered.
Assessments of psychological fortitude took place by way of surprising, bone-chilling climate and snow showers, the alternative of what awaits them at this time as they fly south of the border.
“It has been an fascinating experience,” quarterback Nick Boza mentioned Friday. “It positively exams our fortitude and our potential to remain constructive.”
Peak. Persistence. Even angle got here into play because the 49ers equipped for a attainable third straight win at extra southerly latitudes.
A month after the staff’s cease in West Virginia, Jimmy Garoppolo agreed that it was a visit of types, saying, “Nick articulated it very properly.” Garoppolo added that the altitude was actually testing the teammates, that “the blokes sucked air a bit. Nevertheless it’s good for us. We will play this Monday.”
They’ll play in a crowd of 49ers supporters projected 82 % of their favor, about 71,500 out of 87,523 capability, based on a Vivid Seats fan forecast. Say whats up to Levi’s Sur.
“I heard that the Mexican 49ers have loads of followers, in order that must be good,” added Bosa. “The stadium seems very cool. It must be loud and enjoyable.”
Listed below are 5 methods the 49ers can win and have extra enjoyable than their go to in 2005, once they misplaced to the Cardinals 31-14 within the first worldwide sport of the NFL common season:
5. Kittle Vs. BAKER
One of many NFC West’s greatest video games options 49ers tight finish George Kittle and Cardinals security Budd Baker. Each performed properly, and Kittle was injured after a number of collisions.
“He is the primary one who’s all the time able to seize me if I’ve the ball,” Kittle mentioned. “…He is certainly one of my favourite guys that I can go up in opposition to as a result of his efforts are on tape.”
So is Kittle, except he is harm. He was injured in the course of the 2019 Arizona Halloween win, however he additionally beat Baker by landing in that sport. In Recreation 1 of 2020, Baker’s low kick on a bouncing Kittle resulted in a knee damage that stored the 49ers star out of the subsequent two video games.
49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans named Baker the most effective gamers within the NFL. However Baker is battling an ankle damage, one of many many well being points crippling the Cardinals this season.
Kittle had just one catch – albeit a spark plug – in a win over the Los Angeles Chargers final Sunday. “I inform Jimmy on a regular basis on the sidelines, I all the time inform him I am open, I’ve obtained one-on-one reporting, I am out there, simply toss me a ball should you want me,” Kittle mentioned. .
4. RECEIVERS PLENTY
If this turns right into a pass-oriented shootout, the 49ers protection might be busy. The Cardinals might pair DeAndre Hopkins (hamstring; questionable) and Marquis Brown (short-term injured reserve) collectively for the primary time this season, protecting in thoughts the presence of A.J. Inexperienced and Rondale Moore, the latter of whom averaged eight balls per season. 85 yards in final three video games.
Hopkins, having began the season with a six-game doping ban, isn’t shy about claiming the ball, as documented on HBO’s Arduous Hits in a latest spat between him and Kyler Murray. Hopkins caught 14 of 16 targets for 151 yards within the 49ers’ first win of 2020.
The 49ers’ secondary gamers have probably the most to check their lungs in comparison with this physique, and beginning quarterback Charvarius Ward missed apply this week as he was excused for household causes.
Is the reception constructing higher for the 49s? Brandon Aiyuk is having fun with the perfect a part of his 2.5-season profession. Deebo Samuel is wholesome. Jauan Jennings is the third risk. And Christian McCaffrey is on the prepared from the slot or backfield, as is Kittle (see above in opposition to Baker).
3. MURRAY’S WILD CARD
The 49ers anticipate Murray to return with a hamstring damage that stored him out of the Cardinals’ final sport, a win over the Los Angeles Rams that Colt McCoy received in his stead. Murray is listed as uncertain.
What do they actually anticipate from Murray? Velocity. Elusiveness. Or, merely, the mobility they struggled to comprise with their aggressive passing.
Maybe as harmful to the well being of the protection as the best way they assault Murray on the run. Dre Greenlaw was despatched off earlier than halftime final Sunday for head-butting Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert with a helmet. Murray’s 5ft 10in peak is not simple to pay money for, however Nick Bosa is the perfect 49ers participant to catch him and add to the 9 ½ sack complete, the second greatest within the NFL.
Murray does not must run to beat the 49ers, and this hamstring concern might pressure him to play extra out of the pocket. He had seven carries for the yard final October in a 17-10 win over the 49ers, the primary begin of Trey Lance’s profession as a Niners quarterback.
2. LOOKING FOR SEVEN
Two touchdowns in 5 runs throughout the opposing 20-yard line led critics to lambaste the 49ers’ offense within the crimson zone. This was the third time this season that they posted a 2 out of 5 conversion price.
The 49ers haven’t any excuse, when it comes to out there offensive expertise, to attain large in opposition to a staff that ranks third within the NFL in factors per sport (25.8).
Failure to capitalize on such goal-line alternatives has led critics to over-analyze every part from Shanahan’s (conservative) name to play to Trent Williams’ All-Professional left deal with place that will or might not lead to a run or cross that may do something. do not imply or all. The Cardinals permit touchdowns on 67.5 % of drives within the crimson, the fifth-most within the NFL.
The 49ers have had 12 touchdowns this season, with Brandon Aiyuk (4), Debo Samuel (three) and Christian McCaffrey (three) probably the most.
“Once you’re on a staff with loads of totally different weapons, that sort of factor occurs naturally and that is factor,” McCaffrey mentioned.
McCaffrey is not turning down a possible platoon with 2021-leading Elijah Mitchell, even when the duo’s debut final Sunday does not assure long-term viability.
“Mainly, I see who’s within the crowd, however to be trustworthy, it doesn’t change something,” Garoppolo mentioned. “…They obtain it and problem one another, which makes them group.”
1. USE THE CROWD
The 49ers trying to go 4-0 within the NFC West sport ought to have overwhelming crowd help. So was the intelligence report for 2005, till the Cardinals took the lead and swayed the followers to their aspect.
Feelings are working excessive because the NFL returns to Mexico for the primary time since 2019. The 49ers have already endured a week-long breakout week attributable to early winter chilly and snowfall in Colorado.
“Oh (expletive) you noticed yesterday,” Trent Williams mentioned of Thursday’s 20-degree exercise amid mild snow. “This was onerous. Everybody needed to present a little bit of psychological toughness yesterday, each coach, each participant, even you (the reporters).”
If the 49ers win it was price it. In the event that they lose, fingers will level to whoever concluded it was a good suggestion to go on a week-long task for peak changes — one thing Shanahan relayed from the 49ers well being and efficiency employees that wasn’t out there for remark previously. every week.
The 49ers are ready at Levi’s Stadium for 3 Sunday morning video games in opposition to the New Orleans Saints, Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
This isn’t a goodwill tour for the 49ers. They fly out on Sunday, fly out after the sport on Monday evening. They do not take without any consideration the large help from the Mexicans, they usually have greater plans for the place this season is headed, with all due respect to the fifth and closing sport of the NFL Worldwide Sequence this season.
“We need to ensure we exit and make them happy with us,” mentioned linebacker Fred Warner, who comes from a Mexican household.