Monday Night Football Preview Week 11
San Francisco 49ers (5-4) vs Arizona Cardinals (4-5)
- Spread: 49ers -8.5
- Over/Under: 42.5
This Monday Night Football matchup brings together two NFC West rivals. The 49ers would be tied with the Seahawks for first in the division while the Cardinals would be tied with the 49ers and only one game back of the division lead if they can pull out a win. The big storylines in this game come from the Cardinals in way of injury. Starting with the quarterback situation. Kyler Murray is recovering from a hamstring injury and seems to be a game-time decision heading into the matchup. Murray missed last week and backup Colt McCoy filled in nicely and lead the Cardinals to victory over the Rams. If the pre-game testing of Murray’s hamstring does not go well, McCoy should get the start again. More injury troubles for the Cardinals, Hollywood Brown was already ruled out for this game while he still recovers from his foot injury suffered in week 6. DeAndre Hopkins is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury for this matchup. He logged limited practices all week and should most likely play. Hopkins has been stellar since coming back from suspension. Through 4 games he has 396 yards and 2 touchdowns. Last week with McCoy he saw 14 targets. Running back James Conner, who has battled with injury all year, seems to be in good health after his first full workload last week where he had 86 total yards and 2 touchdowns. Rookie tight end Trey McBride will be the primary option at tight end with the injury to Zach Ertz. The Cardinals have been battling the injury bug all season and can’t seem to catch a break. An explosive offense but they could have a tough time against the stout San Francisco defense.
The 49ers have won their last two games and this would tie them with the Seahawks for the top of the division if they can find the win. Jimmy Garoppolo will be the quarterback for the rest of the year with the injury Trey Lance suffered in week 2, ending his season. Garoppolo is a game manager quarterback and that could be all the 49ers need to win this game and even make a push deep in the playoffs. The 49ers offense has star players spread all over the field, making it one of the best offenses in the entire league. Starting with the backfield, the acquisition of Christian McCaffrey really sets this offense apart. He is one of the best halfbacks in the league and is a great fit for this sort of offense. The 49ers thrive with close-to-the-line of scrimmage and run-after-the-catch plays, McCaffrey's strengths. His backfield mate, Elijah Mitchell played for the first time last week since week 1 and saw a heavy workload, carrying the ball 18 times for 89 yards. This is a great backfield tandem and the offense goes as they do. The pass catchers are also electric with the ball in their hands, starting with Deebo Samuel. Samuel has only eclipsed 100 yards receiving once this year but he is involved in all facets of the offense. Deebo demands manufactured touches in each game and is elite with the ball in space. Brandon Aiyuk has been very consistent all season. Coming alive in his last four games, posting over 80 receiving yards in each. George Kittle is one of the best all-around tight ends in the league. His blocking and ability to get to the second level on run plays is a huge boost to the offense’s run game. His involvement in the passing game has been a little lackluster so far but the Cardinals struggle to cover the tight end position, a possible breakout game for the great tight end in this matchup.
Keys To Victory
Arizona Cardinals: Win the time of possession battle. The 49ers offense can strike on any play so keeping them off the field will be huge. Especially if Colt McCoy is in at quarterback, utilize Rondale Moore near the line of scrimmage. James Conner should be involved in both the run game and the passing game.
San Francisco 49ers: Utilize all your playmakers. This offense is full of weapons and some seem to be overshadowed in some games. McCaffrey is the focal point of the offense, but Elijah Mitchell is a very serviceable runner as well. Deebo received 4 carries last week, his most since week 3. Keep Deebo involved in the run game as well as in the passing game, only 2 catches last week on 6 targets. Kittle is the main star they need to activate in this offense. If the tight end, receivers, and running backs are all clicking, this is one of the best offenses in the league.
Prop Bet Pick
George Kittle Anytime Touchdown Scorer (+180)
The Cardinals rank near the bottom of the league in defending tight ends. Kittle is a great route runner, has the elite ability to run after the catch, and is a redzone target for this offense.
Arizona Cardinals: Rondale Moore. Moore will continue to be heavily involved in the offense while Hollywood Brown is still out. Moore saw 13 targets last week with McCoy under center, only one less Hopkins. Moore should see deep passes attempted to him as well as a few manufactured touches.
San Francisco 49ers: Elijah Mitchell. In his first game back from injury, Mitchell carried the ball 18 times. The Cardinals aren’t great at stopping the run and the 49ers could go ground and pound to control this game. CMC will get his attempts, but the 49ers want to keep him as fresh as they can and they have that luxury with such a good backup in Mitchell.
Matthew St.Pierre has always had a deep love for sports. Throughout his life, he has played and watched just about every major sport there is. With over nine years competing in fantasy leagues for football, hockey, and baseball, sports have always been a huge part of his life. Matt looks forward to building a successful career as a journalist, offering in-depth investigations and quality insights across all sports topics. Outside of sports, you'll find Matt playing video games, walking his dog, Simba, and traveling.