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Thursday, September 10, 2009
Chat wrap: 49ers a tough matchup for Cards

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com


Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando


Thanks to those who kept the condensed NFC West chat moving Thursday. I spent the first several minutes also participating in an NFC West preview show on 101ESPN St. Louis, where Chris Draft's release qualifies as news of the day. This chat differed from most because it featured 11 chatters serving 30-minute stints. Full transcript here. NFC West highlights below.

Jerry (Folsom, CA): Any word on potential WR's for the Rams? I doubt they'd ever have 5 WR's sets, but 4 total on a roster seems painfully few.

Mike Sando: I've charted personnel for about 6,000 NFL plays over the years and have never seen five true wide receivers on the field at the same time. Teams generally keep four and sometimes five active on game days. The Rams seem content with four at this point.

Mark (Phoenix): I am a little discouraged about the Cardinals' offense in the preseason. Do you think the Cards will be fine starting this Sunday? Hopefully Q and Breastan are back, and our defense finds the edge.

Mike Sando: The 49ers are a tough matchup for the Cardinals. Larry Fitzgerald did not catch a pass on third down in two games against the 49ers last season. I noticed that in breaking down those games last night. I think the Cardinals' offense will be a top-10 offense this season. But it's a potentially tough matchup in Week 1.

Chris Matysuk (Modesto, CA): I think 49ers might be the suprise team this year due to the fact it's coach Singeltary's first full season as head coach. We all know every player on that team is willing to take a bullet for this man, and the only thing that will slow them down, as we all know will be their quaterback play.

Mike Sando: The 49ers look like a team that is going to learn not to lose before they learn how to win. They will have an identity and that helps. They will be a smarter team this season.

Sam (Chicago): Last season, Seahawks Rookie TE John Carlson had a great year. What do you predict on what him performance may be when he takes the field this year?

Mike Sando: John Carlson will have another good season. The Seahawks will use him more on third down. His total receptions might not increase because this season the team has better options outside Carlson. But I still think Carlson is a terrific young player.



At least two other subjects -- Draft's release and the Michael Crabtree situation -- merit additional discussion. I'll address Crabtree in a bit.