Niners Pro-Bowler Offers Ominous Words for Cardinals QB Kyler Murray

Dee Ford

Getty Nick Bosa #97 and Dee Ford #55 of the San Francisco 49ers reacts after a play against the Green Bay Packers.

The San Francisco 49ers are riding a two-game losing streak into Glendale this Sunday for a matchup with the division rival Arizona Cardinals, the NFL’s last undefeated team, and MVP candidate Kyler Murray.

But at least one Niners defender isn’t sweating the hype in the desert.

“Kyler Murray is a special talent, but any quarterback can be humbled when you hit him,” pass rushing specialist Dee Ford said during an interview on KNBR Tuesday, October 5.

Cam Inman of Bay Area News Group tweeted more details about the interview, as well as Ford’s efficiently stellar performance in Week 4 against the Seattle Seahawks.

“Ford had 2 sacks (in only 12 [snaps]) in Sunday loss to Seahawks,” Inman wrote. “He better be on the field a lot more vs undefeated Murray.”

Ford Has Produced Efficient Season Thus Far in San Francisco

GETTYDefensive end Dee Ford #55, middle linebacker Kwon Alexander #56 and defensive tackle DeForest Buckner #99 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrate a sack during a game against the Arizona Cardinals on October 31, 2019.

Despite all the injuries along the San Francisco defense early in the season, Ford has not found a starting role with the Niners. But that doesn’t mean he is failing to make an impact.

After contending with neck and back issues that kept him sidelined for 15 of the team’s 16 games in 2020, and which left his status for this year in question throughout much of the offseason, Ford‘s role with the Niners has been curated into a narrow definition — pass rushing specialist.

As Inman noted, Ford played only 12 snaps against the Seahawks on Sunday, October 3, but recorded 2 sacks, as the coaching staff gave him the green light to pin his ears back and fly after the opposing quarterback every time he stepped onto the field.

Ford has a total of 4 sacks in four games played this season. Replicating that presence against the Cardinals will be crucial, as Murray has proven near impossible to stop this season and difficult to even moderately contain.

Murray Putting up MVP Numbers Through 4 Weeks of Season

Kyler Murray - Arizona Cardinals

GettyArizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray receives a snap against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, September 26.

The Cardinals young signal caller currently has the best odds to win the NFL’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award a quarter of the way into the season, according to ESPN.

Murray (+550) overtook previous frontrunner Patrick Mahomes (+600), quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs, following a dominant win over the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday, October 3, 37-20.

Arizona has one of the most potent offenses in the league under head coach Kliff Kingsbury, scoring at least 30 points in all four of the team’s victories this season. The team has also put up 400 or more yards of total offense during those wins.

Dante Kaplowitz-Fleming, a researcher with the NFL Network, explained the elite level company alongside whom those feats place Murray and his Arizona teammates.

“The Cardinals are just the fourth team since the 1970 merger to reach those marks and win each of their first four games,” Kaplowitz-Fleming wrote on October 5, 2021. “The other three teams in that exclusive club all had two things in common: They had their QB win MVP, and their season ended in a Super Bowl loss. The group consists of the 2013 Broncos (MVP: Peyton Manning), 2007 Patriots (MVP: Tom Brady) and 2002 Raiders (MVP: Rich Gannon).”

Over the course of the Cardinals’ first four wins, Murray has tallied 1,382 total yards from scrimmage and accounted for 12 touchdowns, including nine scores through the air and three on the ground.

If the 49ers have any chance to break their two-game losing streak and avoid falling to 0-2 in the division Sunday in Arizona, Ford and company will have to humble Murray early and often — something that no NFL team has been able to accomplish yet this season.

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