The Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers hooked up for a regular season NFC showdown in Mexico City on Monday Night Football. In front of 78,000 fans at Estadio Azteca, the Niners would take Arizona to the woodshed, beating them soundly 38-10. San Francisco heads home with a ton of momentum and a 6-4 record, while the Cardinals return to the desert southwest, all but out of it at 4-7.
The NFC West runs through San Francisco
As great a story the Seattle Seahawks have been, December will be a tough month with three consecutive games against tough teams. They host the 49ers on December 15th, at Kansas City December 24th, and a Jets team who has been a surprise this season. But heading down the stretch, San Francisco has the kind of momentum that can carry them into the postseason and beyond. With the top defense in the league and an offensive who can go-off on a moment’s notice. Somewhat quietly, the 49ers have risen to the top of the NFC. A spot they won’t relinquish any time soon.
The Arizona Cardinals are done in 2022
2022 was supposed to be the year where it all clicked. Everything that head coach Kliff Kingsbury wanted to do this season never happened due to a starting multi-million dollar quarterback who has gone backwards in his career. For the second game in a row, backup Colt McCoy got the call while Kyler Murray is nursing a hamstring injury. Last week, McCoy played efficiently and executed the Cardinals offensive game plan that led them to a victory on the road against the Los Angeles Rams. However a stingy Niners defense would shut down the Cardinals in the second half and for the season. For those who would say Murray could have won in Mexico City last night are blinded by a mirage. The Arizona Cardinals need to take a long look at their quarterback situation and find some answers for 2023.
I mean how many times have the 49ers gone to the same side of the field for a big play off a play fake or some misdirection! Cardinals being humiliated on MNF. Some of these guys shouldn't have bothered getting on the plane if they didn't want to play.
— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) November 22, 2022
Niners rising, Cardinals crashing
The San Francisco 49ers are laying claim as the best in the NFC West and maybe even the best team in the whole conference. True, the Minnesota Vikings will have something to say about that. But if defense always beats good offense, the Vikings are in trouble. They are already in a tough spot as Jimmy Garoppolo might be more explosive and ultimately better. Come the postseason, that will be the story.
As for Arizona, any plan that includes stabilizing a fragile offense is a good start. In the offseason, the Cardinals will need to upgrade their defense to have any opportunity to compete. At some point, especially if the hamstring injury that has Murray out continues, they should shut him down for the balance of the season and let McCoy ride it out. It can’t really get any worse, and if he is better over the course of December, then Arizona can at least feel better about a bad season.