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49ers vs. Cardinals: A prospector's guide

We take a look at pertinent facts, figures and history in the Week 12 matchup with the Arizona Cardinals.

The San Francisco 49ers are back from their bye this week, set to face the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium. The game kicks off at 1:05 p.m. PT, and will air on FOX. The announcer crew consists of Chris Myers and Ronde Barber, with Jennifer Hale on the sideline. This marks the third straight week they will call a 49ers game.

The 49ers faced the Cardinals in Week 3, in a game that marked the beginning of the end of Colin Kaepernick, starting quarterback. He completed 9 of 19 passes for 67 yards, with four interceptions, including back-to-back pick-sixes that set the tone very quickly. He did some good things against the New York Giants and Baltimore Ravens, but this game was really when we started seeing things fall apart.

The Cardinals come into this game 8-2 with back-to-back wins over the Seattle Seahawks and Cincinnati Bengals. They hold a three-game lead over the Seahawks, and are closing in on the division title. Prior to the win over Seattle, Arizona was a tough team to figure out. They handled their business against bad teams, but lost at home to the St. Louis Rams, and then lost on the road to a Pittsburgh Steelers team that beat them with Landry Jones and Michael Vick at quarterback. However, their last two wins seem to have them back on track.

The 49ers opened as a 9.5-point underdog to the Cardinals, and the line has climbed to between ten- and 11.5-points. Much of the public money is on Arizona, which is not entirely surprising. They rank No. 1 in traditional offensive rankings, and No. 3 in Football Outsiders rankings. The 49ers defense put together a strong performance against the Atlanta Falcons three weeks ago, but then struggled in a big way last week against the Seahawks. The Cardinals are a pass-heavy offense, so it will be interesting to see what happens with the pass rush and cornerbacks against Carson Palmer and company.

The 49ers will have an adjusted media schedule this week, due to Thanksgiving. The 49ers have a mostly normal Wednesday routine, with Jim Tomsula meeting the media at 10:30 a.m., and special teams coach Thomas McGaughey speaking at 11:45. Blaine Gabbert is not listed, but will likely go on at 11:45 shortly before McGaughey. The locker room will be open from 12 to 12:45, and the team will practice at 2 p.m. Tyrann Mathieu and Bruce Arians are the Cardinals player and coach speaking with Bay Area media.

There will be no media availability on Thanksgiving. On Friday, the team will practice at 12:40 p.m. Eric Mangini and Geep Chryst will meet with the media after practice concludes, and that will be followed by locker room availability at approximately 2:30 p.m.

Matchups: 48
Series Record: 49ers lead series 29-19
49ers Home Record vs. Cardinals: 49ers lead series 17-8
First Meeting: 11/18/51, Cardinals win 27-21, at SF*
Last Meeting: 9/27/15, Cardinals win 47-7, at Arz.
Current Streak: Lost 1
Longest 49ers Win Streak: 5 - 3 times (Last 9/13/09 - 11/20/11)
Longest Cardinals Win Streak: 4 - 2 times (Last 10/2/05 - 12/24/06)
Most 49ers Points: 56 (10/18/92): 49ers win 56-17, at SF
Most Cardinals Points: 47 (9/27/15): Cardinals win 47-7, at Arz.
49ers Shutouts: None
Cardinals Shutouts: None
*Chicago Cardinals

WR Anquan Boldin

  • Registered game highs in receptions (9) and receiving yards (149) with 1 TD in his first return to Arz. (12/29/13) as an opposition. He tallied 6 receptions for 106 yards and 1 TD in just the 1st qtr., marking the third time in his career that he notched 100-or-more yards in a qtr. [134 at Det. (9/7/03 - 3rd qtr.); 117 vs. Arz. (10/30/11 - 3rd qtr.)].

  • Hauled in a 76-yard TD reception from QB Colin Kaepernick vs. Arz. (12/28/14). It marked his longest reception since 2008.

LB NaVorro Bowman

  • Intercepted a pass by Cardinals QB Carson Palmer and added 1.0 sack, 1 FF and 1 FR at Arz. (12/29/13). The INT led to a 4-yard TD pass from QB Colin Kaepernick to WR Anquan Boldin.
  • Registered a team-high 10 tackles and recovered a fumble vs. Arz. (10/13/13). The takeaway turned into points when K Phil Dawson made a 44-yard FG four plays later.
  • In his first career start, led the team with a season-high 15 tackles vs. Arz. (1/2/11).

LB Ahmad Brooks

  • Brought down QB Richard Bartel on the final series of the game vs. Arz. (1/2/11) for his 5th sack of the season. Also registered his first career INT, picking off Cardinals QB John Skelton and returning it 32 yards to the Cardinals 8-yard line, setting up a TD.
  • Set single-game career highs with 3.0 sacks of QB Kurt Warner and 2 FFs vs. Arz. (12/14/09).

K Phil Dawson

  • Made 3 of 4 FG attempts at Arz. (12/29/13), including the game-winning FG as time expired.
  • In 9 career games vs. Arz., has made 14 of 17 FG attempts and 21 extra points for a total of 63 career points
  • Successfully converted all 3 FG attempts and all 5 XP attempts in a 44-6 win vs. Arz. (11/16/03), as a member of the Cleveland Browns.

LB Aaron Lynch

  • Sacked Cardinals QB Ryan Lindley for a 9-yard loss vs. Arz. (12/28/14). It marked the 6th sack of his rookie season.

S Eric Reid

  • Intercepted a pass by QB Carson Palmer and returned it 53 yards to set up a 35-yard FG by K Phil Dawson vs. Arz. (10/13/13). Also, recovered a fumble by WR Larry Fitzgerald, which led to a 6-yard TD run.

2015 Statistics

49ERS (rank) CARDINALS (rank)
3-7 (4th NFCW) Record 8-2 (1st NFCW)
13.9 (32nd) Points per game 33.6 (1st)
288.2 (32nd) Total Offense 417.3 (1st)
100.1 (18th) Rushing Offense 119.7 (10th)
188.1 (t-30th) Passing Offense 297.6 (4th)
27:12 (31st) Possession Avg 31:16 (6th)
25.2 (23rd) Points allowed/gm 21.6 (13th)
404.0 (28th) Total Defense 322.2 (3rd)
126.2 (27th) Rushing Defense 93.5 (6th)
277.8 (27th) Passing Defense 228.7 (8th)
18 (26th) Sacks 19 (t-23rd)
44.4 (23rd) Punting Avg (Gross) 40.8 (32nd)
-1 (t-18th) Turnover Differential 0 (t-15th)