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Cardinals Ready To Get Into NFC West Play

Trip to see powerful 49ers next up on the schedule

Kyzir White (7) and the Cardinals will try for a second straight upset Sunday in San Francisco.
Kyzir White (7) and the Cardinals will try for a second straight upset Sunday in San Francisco.

Players in the Cardinals locker room have described Jonathan Gannon as high-energy, passionate, and a fiery coach.

But after last week's win against the Cowboys, his first as a head coach, he was reserved. And when asked if he's approaching Sunday's NFC West game against the 49ers any differently, Gannon was brief.


His response was both surprising yet expected. It was coach-speak as Gannon has repeatedly said that regardless of the opponent or the players that they may have, the task is winning a football game.

In this case, it's an incredible offensive scheme quarterbacked by Brock Purdy who has weapons like Deebo Samuel and Christian McCaffery at his disposal.

Gannon's bluntness was notable because the opponent is one of the Cardinals' biggest rivals in the 49ers. It'll also be Gannon's first divisional contest.

"You play these teams twice," Cardinals quarterback Joshua Dobbs said. "When I'm studying film, if you're playing a team outside of the division, you watch the teams that they play in the division because those teams are playing them twice. They always put their best foot forward against those teams in the division.

"It just means a little bit more. We're going to come out, start fast, and again, finish the game on the road, because we got to see them twice this year."

Dobbs and the offense will face another good front seven headlined by defensive end Nick Bosa. Depending on the severity of his ankle injury, offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. will be a part of the unit that is charged with blocking the "all-world" defensive end.

"I told (my friend) that, man, you go from playing (Montez) Sweat, to (Kayvon) Thibodeaux, to (Micah) Parsons and (DeMarcus) Lawrence," Johnson said. "(Bosa) is a good player, he's strong, he's athletic."

The offense has started off strong over the course of the first three games, especially in the first half. They're currently outscoring opponents 54-20 in the first two quarters.

Gannon couldn't point to one specific reason why.

"They're ready to play, I know that," Gannon said. "You think you're going to get something and you don't, or execution, or how the game flow goes. But that has definitely helped us in the first three weeks, starting fast on all three phases."

They’ve won in explosive fashion against the Cowboys, a team the Cardinals weren't expected to beat. Now that the Cardinals have the attention throughout the NFL, they're looking to build off of that against their NFC West rival.

"Complacency is always the enemy of progress," Dobbs said. "For me as the quarterback, as the leader of the ship, just staying on my guys, the team, and continually locking into those little details because they help us on Sundays.