The Arizona Cardinals will host the San Francisco 49ers in what might be the least anticipated Monday Night Football matchup of the year. Both the 49ers and Cardinals are 3-7 and, amazingly, just 1.5 games out of first place. The NFC West has quickly become the worst division in the NFL and an 8-8 or 7-9 team winning the division may not be just a reality but the most likely scenario.
NFL odds say the 49ers are 1.5-2 point favorites depending on where you look which doesn't bode well for Arizona, who is hosting the game. The Cardinals stats are plain ugly. They're 30th passing the ball, 29th rushing the ball and 28th in points scored. Their defense isn't much better 28th against the pass, 29th against the run and 31st in points allowed. They've lost five consecutive games. I'm not sure there's a team that's playing worse than Arizona right now.
Meanwhile the 49ers offense isn't much better offensively sitting at 31st in points scored. The quarterback situation has a lot to do with that while the defense has been effective at times throughout the season. San Francisco somehow, someway still has playoff dreams so this game is a necessity for them.
As SB Nation's Niners Nation points out, this quarterback battle will be, um, interesting. Troy Smith vs. Derek Anderson isn't exactly Brady vs. Manning so we'll see how that affects the game on Monday night.
It's not going to be a highly rated game and the level of opponents doesn't impress anyone but San Francisco will still travel to Arizona where the winner, at 4-7, will be within one game of first place.