The Arizona Cardinals meet the San Francisco 49′ers for the first time tomorrow night since getting whipped by the Niners 24-9 last December on Monday Night Football. The last time these two met on Monday Night Football in Glendale? Oh yeah, you might remember that one, a 29-24 win in a crazy last minute goal line stand.
These two teams are merely a shell of those teams of seasons past, at least when it comes to the standings and they way the teams are currently performing. This was supposed to be a battle for first place, for supremacy in the NFC West. Instead, this is a battle to stay out of the division cellar. Winner still has a shot to win the division. Loser might as well be looking towards 2011 or whenever they play again.
When the Cards started 3-3 and the Niners 0-6, I really never thought these two teams would be tied in their week 12 match up. However the Cards have lost confidence in themselves, beat themselves with penalties and turnovers, and overall have looked like the team many thought they would look like with Derek Anderson at starting quarterback.
The Niners? They’ve been out of it since week one, but thanks to a weak division, they have a pulse. Barely. That’s what this game is all about, getting rid of the barley alive moniker. You lose this game, your 2010 season is dead. Even in the NFC West, you can not come back from 3-8 and win it. If this wasn’t a divisional game, you might even still leave the door open a little crack. Not with this match up though you won’t.
The Niners have been a mess. From an outsider’s perspective such as mine, the coaching has been a mess, the play has been a mess and the Niners are continuing to make history of the wrong kind. Last week, they got shutout at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 21-0. It was the first time they got shutout at home since 1977. If you are into comparisons, and I know I love myself a good comparison, the Cards scored 35 on the Bucs at home four weeks ago.
Honestly, I don’t know what to expect tomorrow night. Which Cards team will show up? If they instill a little confidence in their play, limit their penalties and turnovers (zero turnovers last week against the Kansas City Chiefs), and move the ball on offense, there should be no reason to not believe the Cards walk away winners tomorrow night.