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49ers vs. Cardinals: A prospector's guide

We take a look at pertinent facts, figures and history in the 49ers Week 8 matchup with the Arizona Cardinals.

Christian Petersen

This coming Monday, the 49ers travel down to Glendale, Arizona to face the Cardinals in an NFC West showdown on Monday Night Football. This will be the 49ers 67th appearance on MNF, and the Cardinals 5th. The 49ers currently hold a 24-17 lead in the all-time series. Arizona won the last game 21-19 in Arizona, while the 49ers won the previous five.

The 49ers come into this game with their dominant rushing attack, which is averaging a league-best 5.9 yards per carry, and meet a Cardinals defense giving up 4.2 yards per carry (t-20th). On the other side of the ball, the 49ers lead the league in passing yards allowed and yards per attempt allowed, while the Cardinals are tied for 30th in yards per attempt by their quarterbacks. The 49ers have some key advantages in a game that would mark a huge win in a fairly tight NFC west race.

Coaching Connections

  • 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh played QB for the Baltimore Ravens in 1998 while Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt was the tight ends coach.

  • Harbaugh also played QB for the Chicago Bears from 1987-93 while Cardinals GM Rod Graves was with the Bears as a regional scout from 1987-92 and director of college scouting in 1993.

  • 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio held the same position with the Indianapolis Colts from 1999-01 with Cardinals special teams coach Kevin Spencer, who served in the same capacity.

  • 49ers secondary coach Ed Donatell served as the defensive backs coach with the New York Jets as Whisenhunt was a TE for the Jets from 1991-93. Cardinals defensive backs coach Louie Cioffi was with Donatell and the Jets from 1993-94 as a coaching staff assistant.

  • Donatell was a graduate assistant at the University of Washington from 1981-82 while Cardinals defensive coordinator ray horton was a CB for the Huskies. Horton was also on the same staff with 49ers running backs coach Tom Rathman with the Detroit Lions in 2003. Rathman coached the running backs and Horton was the secondary coach.

    49ers-Arizona Connections

  • 49ers quarterbacks coach Geep Chryst was the Cardinals tight ends coach from 1996-97 and their quarterbacks coach in 1998 and 2001-03.

  • 49ers offensive line coach Mike Solari spent one season on the Phoenix Cardinals coaching staff in 1989, serving in the same capacity.

  • 49ers LS Brian Jennings is a native of Mesa, AZ, and attended Red Mountain HS. He also played at Arizona State.

  • 49ers WR Kyle Williams attended Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, AZ, and starred collegiately at Arizona State.

  • 49ers G Leonard Davis was the 2nd overall pick of the 2001 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals and played with the Cardinals from 2001-06.

  • 49ers LB Clark Haggans played for the Arizona Cardinals from 2008-11.

Arizona-Nor Cal Connections

  • Cardinals G Adam Snyder was drafted by the 49ers in 2005 and played for the team through 2011.
  • Cardinals LB Reggie Walker is from Sacramento, CA and attended Grant (Sacramento, CA) High School.
  • Cardinals TE Jim Dray attended Stanford and played football for head coach Jim Harbaugh from 2007-08.

Collegiate Connections

  • Sun Devils - 49ers TE/LS Brian Jennings and Cardinals TE Todd Heap played together at Arizona State from 1998-99.
  • Bayou Bengals - 49ers DT Ricky Jean Francois and Cardinals WR Early Doucet were teammates at LSU from 2006-07.
  • Panther Pride - 49ers P Andy Lee was teammates with Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald at Pittsburgh in 2002.
  • Hurricane Homies - 49ers RB Frank Gore and Cardinals DE Calais Campbell were both Miami Hurricanes in 2004.
  • Michigan Men - 49ers C Jonathan Goodwin and Cardinals K Jay Feely were teammates at Michigan in 1998.
  • Luck of the Irish - 49ers NT Ian Williams played at Notre Dame with Cardinals WR Michael Floyd from 2008-10.
  • Hook 'Em Horns - 49ers CB Tarell Brown and Cardinals C Lyle Sendlein played their entire collegiate career together at Texas (2003-06), winning the 2005 National Championship.
  • Badger Pride - 49ers QB Scott Tolzien was teammates with Cardinals LB O'Brien Schofield at the University of Wisconsin from 2006-09.

Series Highlights
Matchups: 41
Series record: 49ers lead series 24-17
49ers away record vs. Cardinals: 49ers lead series 10-9
First Meeting: 11/18/51, Cardinals win 27-21, at SF
Last Meeting: 12/11/11, Cardinals win 21-19, at Arz.
Current Streak: Lost 1
Longest 49ers Win Streak: 5 - 3 times (9/14/80 - 10/18/87, 10/24/93 - 12/21/02 and 9/13/09 - Present)
Longest Cardinals Win Streak: 4 - 2 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 - 2 times, (Last 9/10/06): 34-27, at Arz. 49ers Shutouts: None
Cardinals Shutouts: None

2012 Statistics

49ERS (rank) CARDINALS (rank)
5-2 (1st NFCW) Record 4-3 (t-2nd NFCW)
23.6 (16th) Points per game 17.7 (t-27th)
376.4 (9th) Total Offense 293.4 (31st)
176.6 (2nd) Rushing Offense 89.3 (27th)
199.9 (29th) Passing Offense 204.1 (26th)
31:43 (8th) Possession Avg 31:03 (11th)
14.3 (2nd) Points allowed/gm 16.9 (4th)
272.3 (1st) Total Defense 312.1 (7th)
98.9 (t-10th) Rushing Defense 120.9 (20th)
173.4 (1st) Passing Defense 191.3 (4th)
11 (t-24th) Sacks 22 (t-3rd)
47.5 (10th) Punting Avg (Gross) 46.6 (16th)
+2 (t-11th) Turnover Differential +4 (t-8th)