The Arizona Cardinals play the San Francisco 49ers for the first time this season. Being division rivals, they see each other twice annually. Tonight it will be with the whole world of football watching as it will be on ESPN for Monday Night Football. Let's look at the numbers, how they have done against one another and what players have played for the other team.
Records: Arizona is 4-3, San Fran is 5-2.
Both teams are dominant defensively. Arizona's is ranked seventh overall and the Niners are number one. Arizona is 20th against the run. San Fran is 10th. Against the pass, Arizona is fourth and the Niners are first. In points allowed, Arizona has allowed 118 (under 17 a game), San Fran 100 (just over 14 a game).
Over the last 16 games, dating back to last season, these two teams have been prolific at not giving up touchdowns. San Fran is tops, allowing only 21 TDs. Arizona has allowed only 22.
Offensively, it is a story of contrasts. Arizona is terrible. They have the 31st ranked offense, while the 49ers are ranked ninth. But the Niners are only 29th in passing offense. However, they have the league's second best rushing offense and are tops in yards per carry.
Alex Smith, who threw only five interceptions the entire 2011 season, already have five picks this year, but still has a quarterback rating of 93.9. For Arizona, John Skelton gets the start. He has thrown one touchdown on the season but has only started two games.
In the all-time history, the Cards are 17-24 against the Niners, 9-10 at home. They split their games in 2011, each winning at home, while previous to that, one team liked to dominate, as series sweeps happened in the four years prior.
They last met at University of Phoenix Stadium and the Cardinals beat San Fran 21-19. Arizona fell behind 19-7 and then came back. Kicker David Akers missed his first kick of the year and there was a strange sequence of events that led to his miss. San Fran ran a fake that was gong to be a touchdown, but the play was ruled dead because Ken Whisenhunt had challenged the previous play. The replay was unsuccessful because the equipment failed, so the Niners had the play erased for nothing. Akers then missed the kick.
San Francisco has two players that once were a member of the Cardinals. They have linebacker Clark Haggans, who was cut in the preseason this year. He played with Arizona for four seasons, from 2008-2011. They also have offensive lineman Leonard Davis, who played for Arizona for many years and was drafted orginally by the team.
Arizona has guard Adam Snyder, who was the 49ers' starting right guard last year. He signed with the Cardinals this past offseason. He started 69 games for San Francisco.