Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers jockey for playoff seeding as they visit the improved Arizona Cardinals in NFC West action. The 49ers are -3.5 point favorites over the Cardinals with an over/under point total set at 40.5.
The San Francisco 49ers clinched the NFC West division with last Sunday’s 26-0 blowout of the lowly Rams. The 49ers are one of the most complete teams in all three phases of the game and their record thus far fully illustrates that fact. The Niners success starts on the defensive side of the ball ranking 1st in the league in rushing yards allowed with just 71.8 per game. With Arizona seemingly unable to run the ball in this contest, the 49ers will have their hands full with Larry Fitzgerald but should otherwise be able to get plenty of stops. The real challenge for San Francisco could be dealing with the injury to prized linebacker Patrick Willis who is expected to miss this game. On offense, the Niners don’t have the most potent aerial attack with Alex Smith at the helm, but the team should move the chains with Frank Gore in the backfield.
The Arizona Cardinals stumbled out of the gate this year but the team is really coming together of late winning four of five after competitive losses to the Steelers and Ravens in the two games prior. Arizona defeated Dallas in OT last Sunday as the electrifying LaRod Stephens-Howling caught a short pass and took it 52 yards to the house. The Cardinals have had more breathing room to work with as of late as the defense is stepping up to keep the team in games. Kevin Kolb figures to get his second start back from injury this week after an efficient first game back completing 64% of his passes. The wildcard factor for this Cardinals team is punt return man Patrick Peterson who has already scored four touchdowns on the year.
The 49ers still don’t look invincible despite their impressive record and the Cardinals may be sneaky good in the right spots with a home game against a division foe looking to be as likely of a spot as any. I like the points here in a game that could easily finish with a weird low score due to field goals or even a safety.
Arizona Cardinals +3.5 San Francisco 49ers