Drew Stanton is slumping Arizona Cardinals’ backup plan

If the Arizona Cardinals are going to solve some of their early-season problems, Drew Stanton will have to be answer.

Carson Palmer was knocked out last week in a loss to the Los Angeles Rams, and a concussion will keep the veteran quarterback at home Thursday night, when the Cardinals hit the road to face the San Francisco 49ers.

Stanton is probably going to struggle. He completed 4 of 11 passes for 37 yards with two interceptions in relief against the Rams. This is Stanton’s first start since 2014. Usually, that might get bettors off the Cardinals, who dropped to 1-3 straight up and against the spread.

But the 49ers are not much of an alternative, as coach Chip Kelly is making some of the same sideline mistakes he made in Philadelphia, with an inefficient offense not controlling the clock enough to keep a weary defense off the field.

The Cardinals are 3½-point favorites. The line was 4½ this week when Palmer’s availability was iffy. It’s hard to make a case for either of these teams.

The best way to look is under the total of 42.

The Gold Sheet pick: Cardinals, 20-16

Las Vegas handicapper Bruce Marshall is editor of The Gold Sheet (Goldsheet.com).

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