San Francisco 49ers: Michael Floyd

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Here is a look at what the San Francisco 49ers must do and can't do Sunday at Arizona:

Must happen: Get the ball to Vernon Davis. When the 49ers beat Arizona 32-20 in October, Davis took over. He had one of the great all-time days by a tight end in NFL history. He had eight catches for 180 yards. The Cardinals have struggled covering the tight end this season. The 49ers have to exploit it, especially after Davis was held catch-less against Atlanta. It was the first time he didn’t have a catch all season.

Can't happen: The 49ers can’t let the Cardinals pass at will against them. The 49ers have been good all season on defense. But the pass defense struggled against the Falcons. Matt Ryan completed 37 passes and threw for 348 yards. The Cardinals can be dangerous in the passing game. If Carson Palmer gets in a groove with receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd, they can easily stay in this game.

Final 2013 preseason QB snap counts

August, 30, 2013
8/30/13
11:40
AM ET
Six projected starting quarterbacks played in their teams' final exhibition games of the 2013 preseason. The Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson and the San Francisco 49ers' Colin Kaepernick were two of them, and both led touchdown drives before exiting after one series. None of the NFL's projected starters got hurt Thursday night.

The chart shows week-by-week snap counts for quarterbacks I singled out as projected starters heading into preseason. NFC West alums Kevin Kolb and Matt Flynn might not start after all, but I've left them in the chart for context.

St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher has generally played starters in the final preseason game. He did not this time.

"Typically I have, but I guess in the new world that we’re in, it’s hard to," Fisher told reporters after the Rams' game against Baltimore. "What that implies is that I'm pleased with where they are right now, those guys that sat. They worked hard. We got a great workout and it allowed them to fast-forward their minds to Arizona."

Fisher could have been alluding to the run of higher-profile injuries around the league this summer. Last year, the Rams lost rookie defensive tackle Michael Brockers to a high-ankle sprain in the final preseason game.

The Rams emerged from this preseason healthier than their division rivals. That did not stop the 49ers from playing their offensive starters or the Seahawks from playing starters on both sides of the ball Thursday night. The Arizona Cardinals rested most of their starters, though Michael Floyd was one notable exception.

San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh offered no explanation for playing his starting offense one series. Kaepernick hadn't gotten many snaps through the first three games, however. Getting additional reps for Kaepernick and the team's group of emerging receivers made some sense on the surface.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll went into the final preseason game saying he wanted starters to play because the team values this games as competitive opportunities.

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