Game Plan: AZ Cardinals at SF 49ers

For all the talk of the Cardinals loss to the 49ers in Week 1, the players know that the real talking is done on the field. Here is the Cardinals game plan against the 49ers, the matchups to watch and the injury impact.

GAME PLAN: The Cardinals must be able to run the ball to make the 49ers safeties get involved. That should open some play action to Larry Fitzgerald. Defensively, the Cardinals will still key on limiting Frank Gore, although the 49ers have gone away from him in recent weeks. The Cardinals still fear Gore more than any other 49er, although they haven't yet faced receiver Michael Crabtree.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH:

Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald vs. 49ers secondary.

The Cardinals will move Fitzgerald around in the formation to create some favorable matchups. They also will use four receivers, with Fitzgerald by himself on one side, in order to force the 49ers safeties to make a decision, either help on Fitzgerald or the other three receivers.

Cardinals ILB Karlos Dansby vs. 49ers RB Frank Gore.

Dansby played well against the 49ers in the opener, and his running ability makes this is a good matchup. The Cardinals tackled well last week against the Vikings.

Cardinals guards Reggie Wells and Deuce Lutui vs. 49ers MLB Patrick Willis.

The guards will be asked to get to Willis at the second level, and they need to at least get a piece of him. Willis is as good an inside linebacker as there is in the NFL, so it won't be easy.

INJURY IMPACT: QB Kurt Warner is expected to be fine after suffering a hip pointer last week. Warner no longer is suffering from the concussion he suffered three weeks ago.

--LT Mike Gandy is struggling with a pelvic injury that caused him to miss a game last week for the first time since 2004. Jeremy Bridges is the backup and he did a good job last week.


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