49ers vs. Cardinals: 5 Halftime Adjustments for the 49ers to Win

Aron GlatzerAnalyst IDecember 11, 2011

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 11:  Alex Smith #11 of the San Francisco 49ers tries to escape the grasp of Calais Campbell #93 of the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 11, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Norm Hall/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers (10-2) are squaring off in Week 14 for the second time this season against the Arizona Cardinals.

After a dominating second-half effort led the 49ers to a 23-7 victory just three weeks ago in Week 11, San Francisco is looking for the same end result today.

With the NFC West already sewn up, the 49ers are playing for playoff positioning at this point.

To help that cause, the 49ers will need to make these changes in the second half.

5. Win battles up front offensively.

The 49ers offensive line is losing the battle up front. The Cardinals have already sacked Alex Smith four times, and have only rushed for 27 yards. It's on the offensive line to make options available for the skill guys, and they'll have to start getting a push up front to win.

4. Take a few chances throwing down field.

Alex Smith had Ted Ginn Jr. open for a touchdown, but Ginn Jr. lost the ball in mid-air. The Cardinals secondary is capable of giving up big plays, and the 49ers must test them more often.

3. Pressure John Skelton into making costly mistakes.

Three weeks ago, the 49ers took advantage of the Cardinals back-up quarterback having to start to the tune of three interceptions. With Skelton needing to step in due to starter Kevin Kolb being knocked out early, the 49ers must get the pressure on him to create similar opportunities.

2. Stop the red zone struggles.

Last time these teams played, the 49ers turned six first-half red zone opportunities into only nine points. This time, the squad was held to 12 points on four red zone possessions, including one drive that began at Arizona's 4-yard line. That needs to change for this team to be successful.

1. Play Kendall Hunter over Frank Gore.

Gore is a warrior, but is clearly playing at less than 100 percent. Outside of one big run where he followed his blockers well, Gore has lacked the burst to hit the hole. Hunter gives them