Editor’s note: NESN.com’s Mike Cole, Ricky Doyle and Andre Khatchaturian deliver their NFL picks every Thursday of the season, and here’s who they like in the Arizona Cardinals-San Francisco 49ers Week 5 game, with the line from OddsShark.
(-4) Arizona Cardinals (1-3) at San Francisco 49ers (1-3), 8:25 p.m. ET
Mike: Cardinals. The game plan for Arizona should be pretty simple: run, run, run. The Cowboys ran all over the 49ers after NaVorro Bowman left Sunday’s game with an injury in the third quarter, as San Fran allowed 113 rushing yards from that point. Expect a big night for David Johnson.
Ricky: Cardinals. It’s never a good thing to lose a quarterback of Carson Palmer’s caliber, but perhaps it could be a blessing in disguise in the short term for the Cardinals. Arizona has been too reliant on the deep ball this season, despite featuring a super talented running back in David Johnson. Not having Palmer should force Bruce Arians and Co. to play a different — more effective? — brand of football.
Andre: 49ers. Carson Palmer’s absence changes everything in this game. In the last two seasons, Drew Stanton has thrown 40 pass attempts and completed just 40 percent of them with no touchdowns and four interceptions. He’s not very good, and the 49ers’ defense has shown spurts of being decent, especially at home.
Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images