San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals: Watch Live TV Stream Online For Free; Preview
Gore, the staple of the 49ers offense, has run for 601 yards and four touchdowns this season. (Photo: Reuters)
The NFC West-leading San Francisco 49ers will play their rival Arizona Cardinals on Monday. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN at 8:30 p.m. ET and can be seen via live TV stream online here.
After suffering a 26-3 defeat at the hands of the New York Giants in Week 6, the 49ers seemed to devalue themselves as the best team in the NFL. But, they grinded out a physical 13-6 win two Thursdays ago against their NFC West rival Seattle Seahawks, led by Frank Gore, who ran for a season-high 131 yards and added five receptions for 51 more yards. Gore left that game with bruised ribs, but, according to CSN Bay Area, he is expected to start thanks to a much-beneficial 10 days rest.
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Not only has Gore, who has averaged 113.2 yards from scrimmage and ran for 11 touchdowns in 11 career starts against the Cardinals, continued to be the staple of the 49ers, but the defense also has. They are number one in total defense, giving up just 272.3 yards per game and are number two in points allowed, giving up just 14.3.
Defense has become the staple of the Cardinals, too. They are number seven in total defense, giving up just 312.1 yards per game and are number four in points allowed, giving up just 16.9. It was able to limit the Seahawks to just 251 yards of total offense last week.
However, as of late, the Cardinals haven't done a good job of stopping the run, a category they rank just 21st. In their last two games against the Buffalo Bills and Minnesota Vikings, they have allowed 331 rushing yards on 5.5 per carry. That doesn't sound good going into a game against the 49ers, which ranks second in the league in rushing yards per game with 176.6 -- nearly double what the Cardinals are averaging (89.3).
For the Cardinals, the offense is what may have to win the game for them. It hasn't shown much overall this season, especially during the team's three-game losing streak, despite a 4-0 season start. Since averaging 22.8 points in winning its first four games, the team has scored a total of 33.
While running back LaRod Stephens-Howling has been able to provide a spark after running for a career-best 104 yards and a touchdown last week, quarterback John Skelton will most likely need to be the key to the offense. Despite throwing for 262 yards and a touchdown last week, he was sacked seven times and committed two turnovers.
San Francisco won five straight against the Cardinals, holding them to just nine points a game before losing 21-19 in Arizona on Dec. 11. Arizona has lost eight of its last nine Monday night games, its only win being a 29-24 victory over San Francisco on Nov. 10, 2008.