When the fine folks at ESPN were deciding which games to select for their Monday Night schedule this season, they could not have imagined all the subplots attached to this game. I also think they thought these two teams would be a little closer record wise than they are now.
Back in April, ESPN probably didn’t count on:
49ers coach Mike Singletary would be, well, head coach. They most definitely didn’t count on having the TV crew have something to discuss as exciting as Singletary dropping his pants a couple of weeks ago.
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner being in conetntion for a league MVP award.
Cardinals running back Edgerrin James riding the bench behind rookie back Tim Hightower, who is coming off a 109 yard, 1 touchdown performance in his first NFL start.
49ers having a quarterback not named Alex Smith or J.T. O’Sullivan as their starter. Hello Shaun King!
The Cardinals leading the NFL in scoring going into week 10 (although staying that way will mean the Cards will need to score more than 21 points after the Jets demolished the Rams today 47-3 to take over the scoring lead).
The matchup in week 10 resembles very little like the one in week 1 in San Francisco, the season opener, which saw the Cardinals come away victorious 23-13. There was a lot of promise in San Francisco and Arizona. Unfortunately for the 49ers, the only promise remains for the Cardinals, who barring a monumental collapse, should not only win this game, but the division as well. Winning the division also will get them a home playoff game, somthing the Cardinals have never had in their 20 years in Arizona.
The Cardinals are 9 1/2 point favorites. I can’t remember the last time they were favored by that much, which is a sign the times are changing. Now, they must go out on the field and prove the odds-makers right. Don’t play down to the competition and make it a closer game than everyone expects. Before this season, that was the Cardinals mantra. I think the Cardinals move yet another step closer to a divisional championship. Cardinals win this one 31- 14.