Arizona Cardinals vs San Francisco 49ers: Preview, prediction

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The Arizona Cardinals travel to Levi’s Stadium to wrap up the season series against the struggling San Francisco 49ers. 

The Arizona Cardinals are travelling to Santa Clara to take on the San Francisco 49ers.  The 49ers (3-7) are coming off a loss to an under performing Seattle Seahawks team, 29-13. The Arizona Cardinals (8-2) survived a close one at home on Sunday Night Football against the AFC North leading Cincinnati Bengals, 34-31.

History: The Cardinals and the 49ers have faced each other 48 times in the regular season, and the Cardinals played 13 of these games as the St. Louis Cardinals, and 2 of these games as the Chicago Cardinals. The Arizona Cardinals have an all time 19-29 record against the San Francisco 49ers. The latest win against the 49ers came earlier this season, in Week 3 when the Cardinals picked off Colin Kaepernick 4 times.

What: Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers

Where: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA

When: 2:05 PM Arizona Time (4:05 PM EST)

TV: Fox

Radio: Arizona Sports 98.7 FM

Keys to victory:

Last week after a disastrous first half for Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer, where he threw 2 interceptions in the first quarter, many wondered how he’d respond. Palmer tossed four more touchdowns to move him up to number one for touchdown passes thrown this season. Don’t expect Palmer to get off to as bad of a start like he did last week. Against a rebuilding 49ers team, Palmer should have no problem dissecting the 49ers defense in what will be a very fruitful visit to the office for Palmer.

The offensive line for the most part has done an excellent job in keeping Palmer up right, as they only surrendered 2 sacks to a formidable Bengals pass rush. Against the 49ers the offensive line will need to keep an eye out for linebackers NaVorro Bowman who has had some success against the Cardinals in his career and could be the difference between this game being a blowout and this game being a close one. Even with Johnathan Cooper out, the Cardinals should have no problem protecting Palmer.

After missing out last week’s contest against the Bengals while nursing a hamstring injury, receiver Michael Floyd is expected to play. This is bad news for the 49ers secondary, who are already at a significant disadvantage. With Fitzgerald being Fitzgerald, J.J. Nelson’s coming out party last Sunday and John Brown contributing even with his injury, the Cardinals will have no problem going at the 49ers with their vertical attack.

After having to face the Seattle and Cincinnati defenses in back to back weeks, running back Chris Johnson should be able to get back to his 100 yards rushing numbers against this porous 49ers defense. Johnson is eligible for a bonus if he reaches 1300 rushing yards this season. Johnson is currently on pace for 1275 rushing yards this season. Look for him to have a big day on the ground.