Week 12 MNF preview: 49ers at Cardinals

Well, tonight is one of those nights where the Monday night game isn’t going to be a good one, at least according to the records of the teams playing.

San Francisco (3-7, 0-4 away) travels to University of Phoenix Stadium tonight to face the Arizona Cardinals (3-7, 2-2 home).

Both teams have struggled to win games this year, despite having Pro Bowl players on each side of the ball. Still, whoever wins tonight’s game will be only one game back of the division leading Rams (5-7).

For the visiting 49ers, their chances of winning will depend on RB Frank Gore, TE Vernon Davis, WR Michael Crabtree and MLB Patrick Willis.

As for the Cardinals, they look to All-Pro WR Larry Fitzgerald, DT Darnell Dockett, CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and FS Kerry Rhodes.

It would seem San Fransisco has more offensive talent, while Arizona has more defensive talent. San Fransisco started the season by losing five straight games, while Arizona is currently on a five-game losing streak.

The key to this game will be the Cardinals ability to run the ball. San Fransisco can run and pass well, so Arizona will have to control the clock by running in order to A) keep the 49ers defense honest, and B) give their own defense a rest.

If the Cardinals can be effective running (average 3.5-4 yards per carry, don’t fumble, etc.), they should win this game.

This battle of former third-string Ravens quarterbacks (Troy Smith vs. Derek Anderson) should favor the ladder. Mainly because Arizona is at home, and they average scoring
My prediction: Arizona 27, San Fransisco 21.

Here is Rob’s prediction for tonight’s game.

Tonight’s match-up features the bottom two teams in the downright awful NFC West. Although this game seems pointless, sadly it does have some importance in that divisional race. The 49ers have not won a game on the road this year while Arizona has an even record (2-2) at home this season.

I know that tons of people despise Mondays and really look forward to Monday Night Football as a saving grace, and this what they have to watch tonight?

The 49ers offense is ranked 31st in the NFL, while the Cardinals are ranked 28th.

The Cardinals leading rusher is Tim Hightower with 438 yards through ten games, while All-Pro WR Larry Fitzgerald is struggling to find his rhythm with the QB situation always changing in Arizona.

Fitzgerald has only racked up 691 receiving yards and five touchdowns on the year. The Cardinals’ only spark has seem to come from their special teamer, LaRod Stephens-Howling, who has 1,112 kick return yards and returned two kickoffs for touchdowns.

As for the 49ers, who have talent on both sides of the ball, they are struggling just as much as the Cardinals. Coach Mike Singletary took over the 2-5 49ers in the 2009 season and finished 5-4 which gave them an overall 2009 season record of 7-9. There looked like there would be some hope after all right?

Wrong. Under Singletary, the 49ers are 8-11 and have little to no shot at the playoffs this year. They have a constant QB controversy with Alex Smith not becoming the QB he was drafted to be. Now the 49ers are being led by former Heisman Trophy Winner, 2007 5th round pick (174 overall), QB Troy Smith.

Tonight’s game isn’t of much importance, but none the less, we must be thankful as it is still football. Even though both teams have comparable weaknesses.

Since this is a divisional match-up, somehow, someway, even at 3-7, each team still has a chance to win the division.

My prediction is that the San Francisco 49ers come away with the win. They just have too much talent on either side of the ball and at times this year have looked like a good football team. I can’t say the same for the Arizona Cardinals.

San Fransisco 24, Arizona 13.

Enjoy folks.

We’ll see who is right tomorrow. Rob thinks San Fransisco will get their first road win of the season, while I think the Cardinals will make sure the 49ers stay winless on the road.

What do you think? Let us know.

Thanks for reading.

-Mike

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