49ers need statement win in Mexico game vs. Cardinals

(Photo by Terrell Lloyd/Getty Images)
(Photo by Terrell Lloyd/Getty Images) /

ESPN. 32. 42. Monday, Nov. 21. 4-6. 49ers -8. 8:15 p.m. ET. 5-4

The 49ers travel to Mexico City to take on the Cardinals and want to deliver a one-sided victory against an opponent that’s been a historical thorn.

The San Francisco 49ers would love nothing more than a massive second-half surge to fully put what was a disappointing and inconsistent 4-4 start in the rearview mirror.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad started that quest off well enough, dropping the Los Angeles Chargers 22-16 on Sunday Night Football in Week 10 after the Niners came off their bye.

But, as informative as that win was, it was also rather disjointed. What Shanahan and Co. would love as they head deeper into the second half of the season is to completely dominate an inferior opponent.

Perhaps the 4-6 Arizona Cardinals, who were without quarterback Kyler Murray (hamstring) in Week 10, will provide a perfect opportunity when both teams square off from Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, Mexico, on Monday Night Football in Week 11.

The Cardinals aren’t making headway as they did a year ago at this time, and they’re also boasting one of the NFL’s worst defenses with 258 points allowed over 10 games (second most) and allowing an average of 5.7 yards per play.

All that said, Murray and the Cardinals have been a thorn in Shanahan’s side for some time now, and Arizona has won three of the last four meetings between these two teams and also holds a 7-3 record over San Francisco since Shanahan took over coaching duties in 2017.

If there was ever a time for the 49ers to turn the page on that less-than-desirable stretch, Week 11 in Mexico City would be it, and a commanding victory over an NFC West rival would certainly help propel the Niners through more difficult matchups in the weeks to come.

Let’s take a look at additional San Francisco-related news from around the interwebs.

49ers news from FanSided network

NFL power rankings, Week 11: Dolphins rise, Rams fall — Matt Verderame, FanSided

"Gutsy win by the 49ers, who judging from their schedule, could get white-hot for the next two months."

Updated NFC playoff picture after Eagles loss in Week 10 — Josh Hill, FanSided

"Here’s a look at what the NFC Playoff bracket would look like if the postseason started today:Philadelphia Eagles (8-1)Minnesota Vikings (8-1)Seattle Seahawks (6-4)Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5)New York Giants (7-2)Dallas Cowboys (6-3)San Francisco 49ers (4-4)Based on those standings, here’s what the playoff matchups would look like for the first weekend of action:(2) Minnesota Vikings vs. (7) San Francisco 49ers(3) Seattle Seahawks vs. (6) Dallas Cowboys(4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. (5) New York Giants"

Multiple trends back Arizona as big home underdog vs. 49ers — Ben Heisler, BetSided

"The 49ers have a terrific defense, only allowing a robust 4.7 yards/play, allowing no more than 16 points in any of their five wins this season.However, this sets up about as well as it gets for the Kliff Kingsbury wheelhouse. Over his career, via ESPN Stats & Info, Kingsbury is the only coach in the history of the league since the start of the Super Bowl to have an outright winning record as an underdog, and a losing record when his team is favored."

Studs and duds from 49ers’ Week 10 win over Chargers — Jeremy Wohlfart, Niner Noise

"This is not the best game the Niners played this year, but the team at least showed good resilience from a slow start to get the important win. San Francisco needs to string some wins together, and this will hopefully be the first of many."

49ers news from around the NFL, Week 11

NFC contenders and pretenders over first 11 weeks — Jeffri Chadiha, NFL.com

"The real question for this [49ers] team is how the defense will look once that unit gets healthier. They’ve been battling key injuries all season, but it’s arguably the best group in the league when intact. In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising to see this team overtake Seattle in the second half for the NFC West crown. Verdict: CONTENDER"

NFL Week 10 grades for every team that played Sunday — John Breech, CBS Sports

"The 49ers defense was so dominating in the second half that they held the Chargers to just 52 yards. When the 49ers are playing their best, they’re nearly impossible to beat and they were at the top of their game in the second half."

Brian Baldinger loves the 49ers defense’s mindset right now — David Bonilla, 49ers Webzone

"Brian Baldinger joined 95.7 The Game on Tuesday morning and was asked which defense is currently playing the best in the NFC.“I like the 49ers,” Baldinger said on The Morning Roast. “Two shutouts in a row in the second half of games. I mean, you’re coming out of the tunnel with the mindset that they’re just not scoring, they’re not going to move the ball, we’re getting off the field on third downs. It’s just the mindset right now, so they’re closing games out.”"

Is Jimmy Garoppolo Playing the Best Football of his Career? — Jose Luis Sanchez III, Sports Illustrated

"Where it all dwells down to is the negative plays that Garoppolo used to commit that would hold the offense back. But he hasn’t really been making those offensive derailing plays.Garoppolo is taking care of the football, taking more shots down the field than usual, and is stepping up on critical situations like third-and-long. A lot of this is out of character for him and he’s been playing quite efficient."

Kyle Shanahan explains why 49ers will practice in Colorado Springs this week — Rob Guerrera, Niners Nation

"Now that the 49ers have to play 7,200 feet above sea level in Mexico City on Monday Night Football, they’ve created another routine to help their bodies adjust – practicing at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.It’s not a perfect solution as the Academy is about 6,000 feet above sea level, but it’s about as close as anyone could ask."

Next. Predicting each 49ers game, outcome over 2nd half of season. dark