The San Francisco 49ers welcome the Arizona Cardinals to town in what will be only the 49ers second divisional game of the year. The NFC West has played the fewest divisional games to date, which means the 49ers get five divisional games over the final seven games. Ideally they'll be able to roll through those, but divisional games are never gimmes. The 49ers have won four straight against the Cardinals, but streaks can come and go.
Football Outsiders released their latest DVOA ratings and the 49ers dropped a spot to number five. It's an interesting set of ratings this week as the Houston Texans climbed into the number one position. DVOA does not factor in what Matt Schaub's season-ending foot injury means for them moving forward. They were on track for the playoffs, but now head into their bye week with a great deal of uncertainty (a.k.a. Matt Leinart).
The 49ers most significant advantage this week is their defense versus the Cardinals offense. The 49ers have the seventh-ranked defense while Arizona rolls out the 26th-ranked offense. The 49ers will look to put the game on the shoulders of John Skelton and take Beanie Wells and company out of the conversation.
It will be interesting to see how the 49ers cover Larry Fitzgerald. The Cardinals offense may be poor in general, but Fitzgerald can do nasty things to most any defense. He's been held under 62 yards once, and he had a touchdown in that particular appearance. My guess is the 49ers double him the entire game. From there the 49ers secondary will basically be looking to cover Early Doucet, who is in the midst of a modest breakout season. The 49ers move their cornerbacks around, so it remains to be seen who will spend the most time covering Doucet.
- RB Frank Gore (7,196 yds.) needs 149 rushing yds. to pass 49ers and Pro Football Hall of Famer Joe Perry (7,344) for the most rushing yds. in franchise history.
- The 49ers average starting ﬁeld position at home is the 34.1 yd. line, ranking 1st in the NFL for the best starting ﬁeld position at home. The 49ers have also held opponents to an average starting ﬁeld position of the 21.8 yd. line at Candlestick, also ranking 1st.
- The 49ers defense has not allowed a 100-yd. rusher in 31 consecutive games, ranking 4th in the NFL for the longest streak of not allowing a 100-yd. rusher since 2000.
- The 49ers defense has forced 21 turnovers this season, the most by any team in the NFL.
A HOT START
- With an 8-1 record to start 2011, the 49ers are off to their 5th best start since the team joined the NFL in 1950, behind 1984 (15-1); 1990 (13-1); 1997 (11-1); 1989 (9-1).
- With a 4-0 record on the road, the Niners join the Green Bay Packers as the only two teams in the NFL to remain undefeated away from home.
THAT'S THE DIFFERENCE
- The 49ers have outscored their opponents 233-138. The +95 scoring differential ranks 3rd in the NFL.
A SHORT FIELD
- The 49ers have started 21 drives in their opponents territory, ranking 1st in the NFL, and have scored 71 points on those drives, ranking 2nd in the NFL.
YOU WANNA START SOMETHING?
- The 49ers average starting ﬁeld position is at their own 32.5-yard line, ranking 1st in the NFL.
LONG WAY TO GO
- The 49ers rank 1st in the NFL with an opponents average starting ﬁeld position of the 24.5.
BRINGING IT BACK
- The 49ers rank 1st in the NFL with 7 PRsof 20+ yds, while ranking 2nd in the NFL with a KOR avg. of 28.7 yds.
POINTS HARD TO COME BY
- The 49ers have allowed just 138 points on the season, ranking 1st in the NFL for the fewest points allowed.
SHORT AND TOUGH
- The 49ers have allowed just 15 ﬁrst downson 3rd and less than 4 yds. (15 of 31 - 48.4 pct.), ranking 2nd in the NFL.
EFFICIENCY ON D
- The 49ers defense has allowed opponents to score on just 25.7 pct. of their possessions, ranking 1st in the NFL.
- The 49ers have only committed 8 turnovers on the year, ranking t-1st in the NFL for fewest turnovers (Minnesota - 8).
- The 49ers have registered 11 runs of 20 yds.-or-more this season, ranking t-5th in the NFL.
PRODUCTIVE ON FIRST
- The 49ers offense has gained 4+ yds. on 53.6 pct. (127 of 237) of their ﬁrst down plays, ranking 3rd in the NFL.
LET IT FLY ON FIRST
- QB Alex Smith has a QB rating of 111.3 on 1st down, ranking 4th in the NFL (min. 25 atts.).
- The 49ers offense ranks 3rd in the NFL with 60.6 pct. (66 of 109) of the ﬁrst down passing plays gaining 4+ yds.
- As of 11/10, Smith has registered a QB rating of 119.3 against the blitz this season, ranking 2nd in the NFL (GB QB Aaron Rodgers - 139.9) (min. 25 atts.).
FINDING A HOLE
- RB Frank Gore has registered 22 rushes of 10+ yds., ranking 7th in the NFL this season. Gore also ranks t-4th in the NFL with 8 runs of 20 yds.-or-more.
4 FOR 4 WITH GORE
- Gore is 4 of 4 on 3rd-n-1 this season, ranking 4th in the NFL for the most 3rd-n-1 rushing conversions.
HITTING THE CENTURY MARK
- Gore ranks 2nd in the NFL with 5, 100-yd. games this season (Buf. RB Fred Jackson - 6). He is the only player in the NFL to have 4 games of 125+ yds. rushing this season.
- K David Akers has connected on 23 FGs, including 5 from 50+ yds., and has registered 91 points. This marks the most FGs and most points he has scored through the ﬁrst 9 games of a season, in his 13-year career.
Series Record: 49ers lead series 23-16
49ers Home Record vs. Cardinals: 49ers lead series 13-8
49ers Away Record vs. Cardinals: 49ers lead series 10-8
First Meeting: 11/18/51, Cardinals win 27-21, at SF
Last Meeting: 1/2/11, 49ers win 38-7, at SF
Current Streak: Won 4
Longest 49ers Win Streak: 5 - Two Times (9/14/80-10/18/87, 10/24/93-12/21/02)
Longest Cardinals Win Streak: 4 - Two Times (10/6/74-12/2/79, 10/2/05-12/24/06)
Most 49ers Points: 50 (12/7/03): 50-14 at SF
Most Cardinals Points: 34 - Two Times, Last ( 9/10/06): 34-27 at Arz.
49ers Shutouts: None
Cardinals Shutouts: None
|49ERS (rank)||Cardinals (rank)|
|8-1 (1st NFCW)||Record||3-6 (t-2nd NFCW)|
|25.9 (7th)||Points per game||20.3 (22nd)|
|310.4 (t-25th)||Total Offense||318.9 (20th)|
|130.9 (7th)||Rushing Offense||95.0 (26th)|
|179.6 (29th)||Passing Offense||223.9 (17th)|
|30:39 (t-9th)||Possession Avg||28:12 (29th)|
|15.3 (1st)||Points allowed/gm||23.7 (22nd)|
|333.6 (11th)||Total Defense||378.6 (27th)|
|73.2 (1st)||Rushing Defense||123.1 (21st)|
|260.3 (26th)||Passing Defense||255.4 (24th)|
|23 (t-10th)||Sacks||22 (t-15th)|
|12 (t-8th)||Interceptions||8 (t-18th)|
|+13 (1st)||Turnover Differential||-3 (t-21st)|