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Cardinals vs. 49ers preview: History, stats, connections and possible milestones

Another look at the NFC West battle.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers face one another in Santa Clara. What is normally a little bit of a rivalry is not much, as the Cardinals are in firm control of the division and the Niners are struggling through an awful season. But let's look at some things before we watch the game.


The 49ers have a commanding lead historically against the Cardinals, leading the all-time series 29-19 overall and 16-8 at home. The Cardinals did win the first meeting in 1951. Arizona has not beaten them on the road since 2008. Arizona did win 47-7 this season at home in Week 3.


Offensively, the two teams are quite different. Arizona leads the NFL in scoring at more than 33 points a game. San Fran is dead last, averaging less than 14. Arizona has scored a league-high 40 touchdowns. The Niners have scored a league-low 13. The Cardinals have given up 14 sacks. The Niners have given up 30.

Arizona is number one in yards per game overall. The Niners are last.

Defensively, Arizona allows under 22 points a game. The Niners allow more than 25.

Arizona is third in the league in yards allowed. San Fran is 28th.


Receiver Anquan Boldin is the lone 49er who was once a Cardinal. He was drafted by the Cardinals in the second round in 2003. He played with the Cardinals through 2009. He held franchise records for receptions and number of 100-yard receiving games. Larry Fitzgerald has since broken those records.

Arizona guard Mike Iupati played for the Niners from 2010-2014 and went to the Pro Bowl three times.

Possible milestones:

Carson Palmer needs three touchdown passes to tie the franchise record for touchdown passes in a season.

Larry Fitzgerald needs one reception to take over 12th place alone in receptions for a career. He is currently tied with Randy Moss on the all-time list. He needs 13 yards to pass Steve Largent on the all-time list for receiving yards and move into 16th place. He also needs only 74 yards to reach 1000 for the season a mark he has not reached since 2011.

If Chris Johnson rushes for at least 100 yards, he would be the just the third player in team history to do so five times in a season. The last to do it was Ottis Anderson, who rushed for 100 yards or more in seven games, in 1983.

If David Johnson catches a touchdown pass, he would join Larry Centers as the only Cardinals running backs in team history to have at least four touchdown receptions in a season.

If Michael Floyd catches a touchdown pass, he would be the fist Cardinals player since Larry Fitzgerald in 2007 to have a TD reception in five straight games.

If Dwight Freeney has a sack, it would give him four on the season, matching his total for the previous two seasons combined. It would also trigger a performance bonus for this season of $200,000.

Calais Campbell will move into fifth place in franchise history with a sack. He would pass Eric Swann.