Cardinals gameday: 49ers preview - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Cardinals gameday: 49ers preview

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Posted: Saturday, December 12, 2009 7:15 pm | Updated: 2:30 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

The Cardinals can clinch their second consecutive NFC West title by beating the 49ers in San Francisco. Although the 49ers would seem to have the emotional edge given that their playoff hopes hang by a thread, Arizona is bent on avenging its season-opening loss. Also, the Cardinals want to prove to a “Monday Night Football” audience that they can back up their impressive victory over the Vikings with another stellar effort.

Cardinals seek revenge, NFC West title

THE SKINNY

The Cardinals can clinch their second consecutive NFC West title by beating the 49ers in San Francisco. Although the 49ers would seem to have the emotional edge given that their playoff hopes hang by a thread, Arizona is bent on avenging its season-opening loss. Also, the Cardinals want to prove to a “Monday Night Football” audience that they can back up their impressive victory over the Vikings with another stellar effort.

Cardinals seek revenge, NFC West title

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

1. Larry Fitzgerald could have a rare big day against the 49ers. In the past, he’s been shut down by cornerback Nate Clements, but Clements is out with a broken shoulder blade. Shawntae Spencer will cover Fitzgerald.

2. The 49ers have been successful in holding down the Cardinals’ high-powered offense because they’ve been able to get to Kurt Warner off the edges. In particular, outside linebacker Parys Haralson has been a load for Arizona’s tackles.

Jeremy Bridges had a terrific game against Minnesota, replacing the injured Mike Gandy, and he’ll have to be as solid against San Francisco’s blitzers.

3. The Cardinals have had some trouble covering tight ends this season, and Vernon Davis has emerged as the go-to receiver for 49ers quarterback Alex Smith. He’s tied for the NFL lead with 10 touchdown receptions. That may force Arizona to use strong safety Adrian Wilson more in pass coverage than it would like.

Cardinals at 49ers

When: 6:30 p.m. Monday

Where: Candlestick Park, San Francisco

TV/Radio: ESPN/KTAR (620 AM)

Records: Arizona 8-4, San Francisco 5-7

STARTING LINEUPS

Cardinals offense

WR Larry Fitzgerald

LT Jeremy Bridges

LG Reggie Wells

C Lyle Sendlein

RG Deuce Lutui

RT Levi Brown

TE Stephen Spach

WR Anquan Boldin

QB Kurt Warner

RB Tim Hightower

FB Dan Kreider

Cardinals defense

DE Calais Campbell

DT Bryan Robinson

DE Darnell Dockett

OLB Chike Okeafor

MLB Karlos Dansby

MLB Gerald Hayes

OLB Clark Haggans

RCB Bryant McFadden

LCB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

SS Adrian Wilson

FS Antrel Rolle

49ers offense

QB Alex Smith

RB Frank Gore

FB Moran Norris

WR Michael Crabtree

WR Josh Morgan

TE Vernon Davis

LT Barry Sims

LG David Baas

C Eric Heitmann

RG Chilo Rachal

RT Adam Snyder

49ers defense

LDE Isaac Sopoaga

DT Aubrayo Franklin

RDE Justin Smith

OLB Manny Lawson

MLB Takeo Spikes

MLB Patrick Willis

OLB Parys Haralson

CB Dre’ Bly

CB Shawntae Spencer

SS Michael Lewis

FS Dashon Goldson

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