For the first time this season, the Arizona Cardinals face the San Francisco 49ers at 2 PM Arizona time. At 8-1, the Niners are having a spectacular season in their first year under head coach Jim Harbaugh. The Arizona Cardinals have won two straight, but at 3-6, their hope for the playoffs are, at best, slim.
So what do you need to know for this game?
Since the 2006 season, there have been only season sweeps.
San Francisco has yet to allow a rushing touchdown. They are 11th overall in the league in total defense, but number one overall against the run. The Cardinals have the 20th ranked offense to counter them.
San Francisco is not an offensive juggernaut. They are 25th in the league in yardage. But quarterback Alex Smith is not making mistakes and their defense is superb, so this is how they have found success.
Arizona's defense is still ranked number 27 in the league, their defense has only allowed 19 points total in the last two games. It appears that Ray Horton's defense is finally getting executed.
The rivalry between these two teams is a relatively recent one. They have only played each other 39 times in their history. The rivalry developed as the Niners have struggled for a while in recent history and the Cardinals did not belong to the NFC West. Once the Cardinals became a successful team, the Niners and their players would try to play spoiler.
Now is the Cardinals who can play spoiler.