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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 17 matchup with the Arizona Cardinals.

Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

The 49ers wrap up their regular season schedule on Sunday as they host the Arizona Cardinals at 1:25 p.m. PT. The 49ers will clinch the NFC West with a win over the Cardinals, or a Seahawks loss to the Rams. We don't want to see the 49ers losing, and given that the Seahawks will not be losing at home to the Rams, the 49ers will need to handle their business.

I imagine we will see a lot of Frank Gore and LaMichael James, and potentially even some Anthony Dixon mixed in. The Cardinals rush defense has been rather brutal, ranked No. 28 in yards per game, and No. 20 in DVOA. Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter combined for 26 carries in the Week 8 Monday Night Football game in Glendale, Arizona. Colin Kaepernick will get his chances in the passing game, but I think the 49ers will be trying early and often to establish the run.

On to some of the numerous random factoids related to this matchup.

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 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.

Series Highlights
Matchups: 42
Series record: 49ers lead series 25-17
49ers home record vs. Cardinals: 49ers lead series 14-8
First Meeting: 11/18/51, Cardinals win 27-21, at SF
Last Meeting: 10/29/12, 49ers win 24-3, at Arz.
Current Streak: Won 1
Longest 49ers Win Streak: 5 - 3 times (9/14/80 - 10/18/87, 10/24/93 - 12/21/02 and 9/13/09 - 11/20/11)
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)
10-4-1 (1st NFCW) Record 5-10 (4th NFCW)
24.7 (11th) Points per game 15.8 (30th)
358.8 (11th) Total Offense 263.1 (32nd)
157.5 (4th) Rushing Offense 76.6 (32nd)
201.3 (25th) Passing Offense 186.5 (28th)
30:29 (15th) Possession Avg 29:21 (23rd)
17.3 (3rd) Points allowed/gm 22.0 (16th)
296.5 (2nd) Total Defense 333.2 (12th)
96.8 (6th) Rushing Defense 137.5 (28th)
199.7 (4th) Passing Defense 195.7 (3rd)
36 (t-16th) Sacks 37 (t-10th)
48.3 (3rd) Punting Avg (Gross) 46.3 (17th)
+7 (t-10th) Turnover Differential +1 (t-15th)